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ReadingEnvy

ReadingEnvy

Joined May 2016

I'll have what you're reading! goodreads.com/user/show/68030 | readingenvy.com for the podcast
review
ReadingEnvy
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Pickpick

I had an ARC of this book this past spring but forgot to read it. What a pleasure to see a positive story about a girl trying to live her best life while also pursuing romance. If you read When Dimple Met Rishi, this is Rishi's community back home. I was impressed by how Sweetie's empathy is portrayed in how she deals with everyone around her. This is a feel good read with lots of Desi culture.
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#romantsy

readordierachel The cover is so joyful. It makes me smile. 5h
43 likes1 comment
review
ReadingEnvy
Little Weirds | Jenny Slate
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Pickpick

Does anyone have a more distinct voice than Jenny Slate? This book of what I will call micro essays (micro memoir?) discuss a lot of topics from small observations, relationships and dating, silliness, feminism, and childhood. My absolute favorite is the one where she died listening.

Thanks to the publisher for giving me access through Edelweiss. It comes out November 5, 2019.

49 likes1 stack add
review
ReadingEnvy
Crossing | Pajtim Statovci
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Pickpick

Crossing by Pajtim Statovci is a finalist for the National Book Award for Translated Literature. It starts in Albania in the early 1990s and the two main characters travel through Kosovo, Italy, Germany, up to Finland (which is where the author relocated as a child in the same era.) I was a bit confused at times as to who was narrating, but more because the author is playing with ideas of identity and how much a place informs who you can be.

48 likes1 stack add
review
ReadingEnvy
The Blue Sky: A Novel | Galsan Tschinag
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Pickpick

A fictionalized account of the author's childhood in the transitional period where the Tuvan people started being regulated by Mongolian governments (taxing for wool and forcing children to go to school.) It was interesting to read about the nomadic patterns, community units, sensory communication (using smell in particular!) and living in extreme conditions. ⤵️

ReadingEnvy There are hints of the author's future as a shaman by the end of the book, and apparently this is the first book of a longer series.
I'm counting this for Mongolia for my #re_asia2019 project but technically the Tuvan people are not Mongolian.
5d
Molly_the_mezzo All I know about the Tuvan people is throat singing, which I learned about in music school and is seriously cool 5d
ReadingEnvy @Molly_the_mezzo totally, me too. I learned a lot more about them in this book. 5d
43 likes3 comments
blurb
ReadingEnvy
Testaments | Margaret Atwood
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Reading Envy Podcast Episode 167: Book Pendulum with Reggie (@Reggie)

Reggie is a reading friend Jenny made in Litsy and this is his Reading Envy debut! Together we discuss coming back to reading, international postal book groups, plant blindness, and Reggie tries to talk Jenny into giving a book a second try.

https://tinyurl.com/ReadingEnvy167

shawnmooney @Reggie @ReadingEnvy What a fabulous episode! Reggie, I loved the delightfully quirky way you described not only your books but also your readerly self! And you‘ve convinced me to try the Kawakami which I had previously passed over. Jenny, you‘ve made my copy of the Lawlor beckon to me all the more from my shelf! 6d
ReadingEnvy @shawnmooney thanks for listening, friend! 6d
LeahBergen Oh, I can‘t wait to have a listen! ❤️ 6d
See All 19 Comments
Reggie @shawnmooney Thanks, man. I hope you like the Kawakami. I had a great time on the show. 6d
Centique This was so much fun Jenny, I‘m going to have to listen to it twice. 😍 @Reggie has the best way of describing the reading experience! I want to look up and see the author on the other side of the table, or tell the cricket to be quiet so I can hear the bartender 😁 5d
Reggie @Centique Paula, you‘re so nice! ❤️ 5d
ReadingEnvy @Centique he did great! 5d
Lindy @Reggie I‘m with @shawnmooney You‘ve pushed me closer to reading Kawakami, which is already on my TBR thanks to @KathyR — loved listening to the entire episode. 5d
Lindy @Reggie Oh, and I thought Joe Hill‘s Fireman was funny too. 👯‍♂️ 5d
Lindy @ReadingEnvy Is Lanny one of the titles you‘re sorry was left off the Booker shortlist? I think it‘s deserving. As for The Testaments, I liked the blank spaces, so it worked for me that I knew nothing about the content of the tv show. 5d
ReadingEnvy @Lindy no, I wouldn't have included Lanny personally. But I would have included Lost Children Archive and The Man Who Saw Everything. Maybe the Winterson too although it's not my fav if hers. 5d
Reggie @Lindy it‘s 10 months later and it‘s still one that I think about a lot. I actually got to see Joe Hill at a signing in Denver last week and he was hilarious. 5d
Christine Jenny and @Reggie - this episode was so fantastic!! I loved everything about it. The Overstory, which had slipped off my mental TBR, is now for sure back on. And I enjoyed the discussion of The Testaments - I loved the book, but I‘ve also watched every episode of the Hulu series...interesting to consider how that affected my experience of the book. 5d
ReadingEnvy @Christine I do think the show is the connecting piece! Thanks for listening. 5d
BestDogDad Fun episode, Jenny and @Reggie ! Thanks for entertaining me during a long, miserable commute. After hearing Jenny‘s comments about The Testaments I think I‘ll finish the Hulu series first. AIDS: my mom died of AIDS in 1988 so books and movies that bring me back to that period are hard on me, too. Philadelphia and Dallas Buyers Club were especially hard to watch and the novel Tell the Wolves I‘m Home was great but painful. 1d
Reggie @BestDogDad I‘m glad we could entertain!! I‘m sorry to hear about your mother. I haven‘t seen Philadelphia or the Dallas Buyers Club but I have read Tell the Wolves I‘m Home. That part where the uncle gives his niece the teapot and tells her it‘s only for the best people....😭. 1d
ReadingEnvy @BestDogDad ah, I'm so sorry to hear that. That was so early in their understanding of the disease too. 1d
BestDogDad @Reggie Thanks, Reggie. Yeah, the teapot. So many memorable scenes in that book. I still think of it on occasion. 1d
BestDogDad @ReadingEnvy Yes, it was mysterious then and people were paranoid about it. And an infected person was given two years at the longest. Medicine has come a long way since. 1d
45 likes19 comments
review
ReadingEnvy
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Pickpick

I made the brownies from this revised cookbook which came out October 1.
jennybakes.blogspot.com/2019/10/brownies-from-tartine.html

I also have my eye on:
English Muffins
Savory Scones
Chocolate Hazelnut Tart
Devil's Food Layer Cake
Victoria Sponge
Almond-Lemon Tea Cake
Honey Spice Cake
Black Tea Blondies w Caramel Swirl
Sweet Potato Cake w Meringue
Scones
Chocolate Chess Pie
Dutch Apple Pie
Matcha Streusel Tart
Cake Aux Olives
Pumpkin Tea Cake

Ruthiella Yum 😋 7d
wanderinglynn Those look delicious! 😋 If you ever need a taste tester, I‘ll happily volunteer. 😉 7d
megzlynn Looks so good! 7d
Lindy Black tea blondies ! 5d
ReadingEnvy @Lindy I know I'm still intrigued 5d
51 likes5 comments
review
ReadingEnvy
Circle of Karma | Kunzang Choden
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Pickpick

The novel tells the story of Tsomo, a Bhutanese woman, from childhood to elderly years. It tackles all the life events - siblings, growing up, rituals, death, marriage, employment, journeys, religious practice, etc. Tsomo finds herself on a journey for blessings from several lamas once she decides her marriage has brought her into a place of bad karma and that is the majority of the book. ⤵️

ReadingEnvy And just like I like in a book I'm reading to learn about another place, there is a lot about food and ritual and societal structures/differences between the Bhutanese themselves but also between the Bhutanese and the surrounding groups. ⤵️ 1w
ReadingEnvy As far as I can tell, this is written in English, not translated from another language. Even so there are too many commas at times, and not enough other times, and a few other grammatical errors in this printing. I suspect that is the price you pay when you try to read a book from every country. 1w
49 likes2 comments
review
ReadingEnvy
Pursuit | Joyce Carol Oates
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Mehso-so

Joyce Carol Oates has long been on my list of authors to try. So I finally did, and read this novel about a woman who gets married but steps in front of a bus, trying to flee the voices in her head. The rest of the short novel is about the voices and really shifts off of who I thought would be the main character. I'm not sure if this is typical but I found the pacing to be a little uneven and the violence to be more than I usually like in books.

TheLudicReader I always find the rhythm of Oates difficult to settle into. Don‘t give up on her. Try 1w
ReadingEnvy @TheLudicReader others have suggested that one too, sounds like the one to try. 1w
Lindy I‘m not a JCO fan. 5d
43 likes3 comments
review
ReadingEnvy
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Pickpick

This memoir of adoption and motherhood by Neferiti Austin also provides a much needed voice of black women adopting black children. She covers the process, dealing with birth families, dealing with new forms of mansplaining, and funny moments like teaching her son to pee standing up.⤵️

ReadingEnvy I think the idea that unifies her experience with other experiences I've heard from adoptive parents is the importance of the community that emerges, which isn't always the people you had in your life before adopting.
1w
52 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
ReadingEnvy
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Pickpick

I was looking for something scary to read on my Kindle and came across this short tale of a family of serial killers that lived down the road from the Ingalls family. I thought this was going to be a zombie retelling of Little House on the Prairie (not sure how I got that idea, just made assumptions) but instead got a well-documented true crime story, with pictures! It is chilling and bloody, still perfect for my mood at the time.

Ruthiella Oh dear 😱 1w
LeahBergen This sounds so good! 😆 1w
Reggie I‘m almost tempted. 1w
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ReadingEnvy @Ruthiella oh goodness it's a doozy. I realized I had it in audible too and I'm glad I didn't listen. 1w
ReadingEnvy @LeahBergen it's real! And insane. 1w
ReadingEnvy @Reggie dooo it 1w
50 likes3 stack adds6 comments
blurb
ReadingEnvy
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This month I really zeroed in on getting through some of my eARC backlog from Edelweiss and NetGalley, and it really worked with 16 of the books I read coming from that list (and a few more that I started or didn't review publicly.)

It was also a good month for five star reads, with seven! And even stranger, four of them were non-fiction and one was poetry.

http://readingenvy.blogspot.com/2019/10/books-read-september-2019-206-229.html

review
ReadingEnvy
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Mehso-so

Ellie stumbles across a harp maker in Exmoor and they develop a friendship despite hardship and quirks. This was a sweet read and seems to be inspired by real harps and harpmakers and Exmoor as a place!

This came out August 6 and I had a review copy from the publisher through netgalley but I got behind. This is a cozy read that was a nice balm after a stressful weekend.

54 likes2 stack adds
review
ReadingEnvy
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Pickpick

In my librarian life, I'm always teaching students how a good source can lead to another. This happened recently in my reading life where I found out about The Restaurant of Love Regained by Ito Ogawa (translated from the Japanese) in another recent read, The Girl who Reads on the Métro (translated from the French.) If you like foodie fiction with magical realism but set in Japan, this is the book for you! (Don't go in hungry.)

ReadingEnvy The cover art is frustrating though because the protagonist chops off her hair in the beginning! 2w
49 likes4 stack adds1 comment
review
ReadingEnvy
The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs | America's Test Kitchen Kids
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Pickpick

Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pão de Queijo) and how I roped my husband into testing a cookbook for kids: http://jennybakes.blogspot.com/2019/09/brazilian-cheese-bread-pao-de-queijo.html

I had a review copy of this cookbook from the publisher through edelweiss... It comes out tomorrow and would be a great gift for the holidays (or before the holidays, when more baking takes place.)

LorieL Looks delicious 😋 2w
Nute Yum!😋 2w
batsy Drooling! 2w
See All 14 Comments
Lindy 🧀🧡I have a big jar of tapioca flour in the cupboard and I want to try baking these. Thanks for posting a cookbook review! 2w
ReadingEnvy @Lindy the texture is definitely chewier than regular flour. I preferred to eat them with things, like as a bun. 2w
Lindy @ReadingEnvy Yes, I saw that about the chewiness. I think I will make a half-batch and plan to use them as sandwich buns. 2w
Riveted_Reader_Melissa Looks delicious 2w
lele1432 Oh that looks so good 😋 2w
Lindy I made these yesterday, taking Nathaniel‘s comment about sufficient baking time into account. They were delightful! Very round top on them, too, unlike in your photo. Not sure why that was different. 5d
ReadingEnvy @Lindy which kind of pan did you use? I'm glad you liked them! 5d
Lindy @ReadingEnvy An old metal one, well-buttered. (Baking spray makes me cough so I don‘t use it.) I remember now that there was a warning about results being not as good with silicone bakeware. 5d
ReadingEnvy @Lindy and there's definitely a chance my husband didn't do everything right ;( 5d
Lindy @ReadingEnvy My sweetie hasn‘t cooked much lately, but she was excited to try a tandoori style cauliflower recipe from the NYT. She was disappointed with the results. I tasted it and said all it needed was salt. She said oops. Realized she had skipped that in the ingredients list. 5d
ReadingEnvy @Lindy oh yeah that would do it! 5d
49 likes14 comments
review
ReadingEnvy
Erosion: Essays on Undoing | Terry Tempest Williams
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Pickpick

"We are eroding and evolving, all at once."

Terry Tempest Williams tackles the theme of erosion and undoing throughout these essays - examining topics of public lands, family, career, belief. There is an underlying tension between connectedness and grief that I've experienced in her writing before.

TW for Trump-led destruction of protected lands, harm to Diné communities, and suicide.

56 likes2 stack adds
review
ReadingEnvy
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Pickpick

Mona Eltahawy was born to an Egyptian Muslim family, and previously tackled misogyny in the Muslim world in Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution. In this book, she takes more of a global view, and writes a manifesto for all women and girls (including trans women and nonbinary people) for taking down the patriarchy. ⤵️

ReadingEnvy She identifies seven "sins" that need to be committed to dismantle power structures - anger, attention, profanity, ambition, power, violence, and lust. She includes her own stories of violence and protest and arrest and the stories of other women, tying them to data and historical contexts that serve to explain the situations in specific places but also how there is not a place where women can escape structural oppression. ⤵️ 2w
ReadingEnvy It's very readable while being well documented. Her arguments are international and intersectional and do not exclude the United States (since sometimes people in the United States seem to only think women are oppressed "over there.") She explains how sexual violence is used as a war tactic, how double oppression is used in countries controlled by dictators or religion, and how powerful men try to silence teenagers like Greta Thunberg.⤵️ 2w
ReadingEnvy What does bodily autonomy mean? ("At what age does my body belong just to me?") What if women and girls used the power they have been taught to bury? (She says, "What if girls were taught they were volcanoes, whose eruptions were a thing of beauty...?) What if women and girls refused to yield space to be dominated by others desires or ideas? (She says, "The most subversive thing a woman can do is talk about her life as if it really matters.")
2w
jillrhudy Just when I‘ve decided the feminist virtues are peace, joy, contentment, pathfinding and solitude. But then I‘m 51. 1w
ReadingEnvy @jillrhudy those are the virtues, she's talking about necessary sins :) 1w
51 likes2 stack adds5 comments
review
ReadingEnvy
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Mehso-so

Catching up on my Edelweiss backlog... This is a complication of Modern Love columns from the New York Times, in preparation of some Netflix show that comes out in October. I was a little disappointed by the sparse diversity but liked the variety of topics within love, from dating to marriage to divorce to children to loss. An easy read of short personal stories.

This came out Sept. 3, 2019.

Lindy @ReadingEnvy Is it a complication as in a collective noun, or did you mean to say compilation? 2w
Lindy @ReadingEnvy 😊👍 2w
57 likes3 comments
review
ReadingEnvy
Who Put This Song On? | Morgan Parker
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Pickpick

Morgan Parker uses her own experiences as a teenager to write this novel about a 15 year old, Morgan Parker, who struggles to find balance after being diagnosed with depression. Not only that, she is one of the only students of color in her private Christian school (and in her neighborhood, suburbia) where she is discouraged from having her own opinions. ⤵️

ReadingEnvy I like how her identity is also part emo, with all the appropriate musical references, and also a slight tribute to The Golden Notebook maybe?
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I had a copy of this from the publisher through NetGalley. I am already a fan of Parker's poetry and although this YA novel is for a different audience, I think her selfhood and strength shine through here as well. This came out September 24, 2019.
2w
53 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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ReadingEnvy
Who Put This Song On? | Morgan Parker
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This chapter title is hilarious and fits the tone of the book so far, self deprecating with an underlying feeling of anxiety.....

51 likes2 stack adds
review
ReadingEnvy
High School | Sara Quin, Tegan Quin
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Pickpick

Last year would have been the 20 year high school reunion for Tegan & Sara, making them two years behind me in age. Their memoir of those years alternates between the sisters as they tell stories of their family life, fighting over friends, discovering their sexuality, finding a musical voice, and drugs, so many drugs, mostly acid (and they are attempting to be drug-positive, not the usual message!) ⤵️

ReadingEnvy The pictures are uncanny in the sense that they could have been my classmates in clothing and hairstyle, even though they lived in Calgary. ⤵️
3w
ReadingEnvy I read another musician memoir earlier this year that was super disappointing but this one is not. It is well organized, personal, and gives an insight into their musical beginnings that I think will be interesting for their fans. And even for people who aren't already fans, the story of twin sisters who both come out in high school and take a lot of drugs is bound to be interesting. 3w
Christine I‘ve been awaiting this one! Glad to hear it gets your endorsement.  2w
59 likes4 stack adds3 comments
blurb
ReadingEnvy
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Reading Envy Podcast Episode 166: On Brand with Karen

Jenny was reading up to the minute we started recording because she wanted to talk about one of these books with Karen specifically. We talk about graphic novels in other languages, romance representation, and obscure science. And, as usual, we laugh a lot.
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https://tinyurl.com/ReadingEnvy166

Ruthiella Fan favorite KAREN!🎉 3w
Lindy @ReadingEnvy Be sure to sign up Karen for your 666th episode. 😉 2w
ReadingEnvy @Lindy heh! It was funny to realize the episode thing. 2w
61 likes4 comments
review
ReadingEnvy
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Pickpick

I finished the book for tomorrow's book club. The Line Becomes a River portrays the realities of the border, and the trouble of separating the border patrol from the end results. The dehumanization of migrants and refugees is real.

Lcsmcat 😢 3w
63 likes5 stack adds1 comment
review
ReadingEnvy
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Pickpick

This 1993 collection of short stories has been on my to be read list since 2010, and once I started it for my #tbrexplode project, I couldn't put it down. All stories are focused on relationships, sometimes groups of stories from different perspectives, some are unusual types. Just like I'm used to from later works by this author, she has realistic insight into the inner workings of her characters.

CarolynM I love Amy Bloom but I haven't read this one. I must read it soon. 3w
ReadingEnvy @CarolynM I think it‘s the first book she published but she‘s definitely already herself! 3w
Cathythoughts What a gorgeous cover & picture (edited) 3w
Nute I think that it is often definitely worthwhile to follow the growth of an author by checking out their first work. I‘m interested in this book now thanks to this review!🙂 3w
ReadingEnvy @Nute good point! 3w
53 likes2 stack adds5 comments
review
ReadingEnvy
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Pickpick

This essay collection comes out next Tuesday, and I have a copy from the publisher.
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I feel like Jamison has matured in how she views relationships and other people. These essays seem more interested in other people's motivations and quirks than her own, and she comes across as curious and empathetic. ⤵️

ReadingEnvy "52 Whale" is a favorite in this collection, and I really liked "The Real Smoke" which is about Vegas culture and our unrealistic expectations of relationships. 3w
Ruthiella Interesting! I‘ve only read her debut collection but I know what you mean about some writing being more about her than anything else. 3w
62 likes2 stack adds2 comments
review
ReadingEnvy
Heart: A History | Sandeep Jauhar
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Pickpick

This was a great read for #scienceseptember from personal history with heart disease and training as a heart specialist to the history of how our understanding of the heart has developed, and with it treatments for various ailments - meditation often does as much as medication, and the connection between anxiety/stress and the heart. I recently had AED training when I was CPR certified but had no idea that technology was so new. ⤵️

ReadingEnvy On a level of greater detail, and don't read on if you're squeamish - Dr. Jauhar describes the first self-catheterization in agonizing detail and I threw the book down mid-sentence (and I'm the least squeamish person I know!) Experiments on animals that led to major heart discoveries are explained in great detail that might be difficult to read for a lot of animal lovers. ⤵️ 4w
ReadingEnvy And since the author was a doctor working in the makeshift morgues at ground zero for 9/11, you should be prepared for some pretty gruesome detail from that day, not heart related, or at least so it seems at first. 4w
DrexEdit Interesting! That's going to displace something higher up on my #TBR list for sure. And a great cover! 😍 😊 4w
ReadingEnvy @DrexEdit ♥️💃 4w
70 likes3 stack adds4 comments
review
ReadingEnvy
Trail of Lightning | Rebecca Roanhorse
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Pickpick

I enjoyed this tale of Navajo/Diné inspired rural fantasy with a destroyed flooded American landscape, a walled world where gods and mythological creatures have returned to daily life, and Maggie the monsterslayer has to navigate this new world.

ReadingEnvy At the same time I'm thinking about cultural appropriation and have been reading a wide variety of opinions on the author's "right" to use some of the ideas that she did. Who owns these stories and names? It's something to think about. 4w
collegecatlady In my opinion, the author being Indigenous means she has the right to the stories and names in the novel. Oral stories such as the ones in the book are owned by certain cultures, not particular people since the stories are spread as tales. I definitely think we always have to be aware of who is telling what, especially when they aren‘t of the culture, in this case Indigenous. Love your review! 4w
Addison_Reads I just finished this one and I really enjoyed it. Great thought provoking question too about who owns these stories and names. 4w
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ReadingEnvy @collegecatlady I was reading some stuff that said that because she was not Navajo she was giving away Navajo secrets and then some counterarguments to that. I'm not sure I would know where to land but she's definitely closer to the culture than I would be. 4w
ReadingEnvy @Addison_Reads it's not my usual type of book but I enjoyed it too. She can describe a person's presence very effectively. 4w
collegecatlady @ReadingEnvy Totally! People felt the same way about Leslie Marmon Silko giving away secrets when she wrote many of her books. It‘s an interesting discussion for sure! 4w
59 likes1 stack add6 comments
review
ReadingEnvy
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Pickpick

Molasses quick bread from the revised edition of this classic cookbook.

More on the cookbook and the recipe for the bread here: http://jennybakes.blogspot.com/2019/09/molasses-sweet-bread-from-foxfire-book.ht...

review
ReadingEnvy
Testaments | Margaret Atwood
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Mehso-so

I don't believe I should have to watch a TV series to appreciate a book, and this forms the major part of my criticism of this book. I did watch the first season of The Handmaid's Tale, but the episodes came slower and slower, because I was having nightmares. I delayed watching the second season because real life seemed dark enough, and my husband finally went ahead and watched it without me. ⤵️

ReadingEnvy When I got to the end of this book, I went and read the synopses of seasons 2 and 3 of the show and here's the thing - this book intertwines with the show and you simply will not understand it without all the parts. This is more aggravating than I can express.

My second major complaint is a complex frustration of this book being included in the Man Booker Shortlist. ⤵️
1mo
ReadingEnvy It is a good enough book in the sense that there are three narrators that rotate and tell different pieces of a somewhat exciting story, but as others have pointed out since two of the narrators are teenagers the novel reads like a pretty typical dystopian YA novel. And maybe not the best one I've ever read (The Hunger Games, for instance, has far more complexity, higher stakes, and dynamic characters.) ⤵️ 1mo
ReadingEnvy The writing serves for the pace of a thriller-dystopia but there is nothing literary about it. Even Justin Cronin's vampire novels are of a more literary nature than this book, and I feel like the Man Booker judges are decades, maybe centuries, away from considering such a novel on their list. It does not deserve the spot it is occupying; there were books far better in writing and creativity and voice that were excluded for what, a nostalgia spot? 1mo
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ReadingEnvy This is not the bitter accusations of someone who is whining because she didn't get a review copy. I don't always, I'm not important enough, so I hadn't even tried. I was happy to purchase it the day it came out in Audible and listen to it in all my spare time to finish it by last night.
1mo
batsy Nice, thoughtful review 👍🏽 1mo
BookNAround That‘s so disappointing. I sometimes think that certain book awards winners and the short listed books as well are a little “The Emperor Has No Clothes,” at least for me. I did get this one today because I want to be able to be a part of the conversation about it in the coming days/weeks but I‘d be lying if I said I wasn‘t looking at it with a certain amount of trepidation. 1mo
ReadingEnvy @BookNAround I do think if you've seen the show you will have a lot to talk about! 1mo
Simona I‘m still reading this one, but I have to agree with you. Shouldn‘t be in the shortlist ... 1mo
Gezemice I liked it, but I agree, does not have the literary value of the first. I had no problem with the teenage voices as they were balanced by the mature and morally ambigous Aunt Lydia. It did seem like she cranked this out fast as more of a crowd pleaser than a well tgought out work. Not prize material but a good thriller. 1mo
ReadingEnvy @Gezemice I gave it three stars, which is where I place most books that are fine but not great. 1mo
Gezemice @ReadingEnvy I usually put those books at four stars, because they are good books even if have some faults. My system is based on the enjoyment/annoyment ratio, so three is a book that had both in equal measure. For me this had way more good, the drawbacks were mostly from comparing it to the Handmaid‘s Tale. I do feel you were more disappointed so that would fall into a three star in my system, too. 1mo
ReadingEnvy @Gezemice sounds good.. and you're right, it's hard to separate the reading experience from my annoyance at the TV connection and the Man Booker Prize shortlist! 1mo
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review
ReadingEnvy
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Pickpick

Visceral and sparse poems, with violence between bodies and landscape, highly recommended. Out yesterday from Milkweed

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blurb
ReadingEnvy
Summerlings | Lisa Howorth
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Reading Envy Podcast Episode 165: Delightful Reads with Claire Handscombe

Claire joins Jenny to discuss recent reads, bookish podcasts, and Claire talks about what brought her to DC, her writing project, and the bookseller's life.

https://tinyurl.com/ReadingEnvy165

review
ReadingEnvy
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Pickpick

This book is such a perfect capture of various lgbtq+ communities in the United States in the 80s & 90s that I'd recommend it for that aspect alone. But the main character, who has the ability to shapeshift gender to move more easily within these spaces, really makes for a unique read. It's hard to believe this is a debut novel because it feels so elegantly written (often about not so elegant topics!) I laughed a lot especially at the beginning.

59 likes7 stack adds
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ReadingEnvy
The Book Charmer | Karen Hawkins
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Mehso-so

It might be because we have been slowly rewatching Parks and Rec at our house, but this book ended up feeling like a combination of Gilmore Girls (small town culture only in NC mountains) and Parks and Rec (city planner saving the town.) The book starts out focuses on a different character and feel than where it ends up because at the beginning it's all about this family that goes way back and the seventh daughters have magical abilities. ⤵️

ReadingEnvy The librarian is one of those and she gives books to people they don't know they need. By the end the focus is on a woman who has brought the woman who was her foster parent back to her hometown to care for her and her sister's child, and the neighbor nextdoor who is a returned soldier slash mechanic.⤵️ 1mo
ReadingEnvy All in all there's a lot thrown in that I would have saved for subsequent novels to really focus on a single story or relationship at once. But maybe the author intended to introduce the town and its characters in this first novel. Living so close to many NC mountain towns, I enjoyed the story from that perspective. 1mo
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ReadingEnvy
Cantoras: A Novel | Carolina De Robertis
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Pickpick

I was late to a scheduled podcast recording yesterday because I just had to finish this book first. It is beautifully written about five women living in Uruguay, building a found family to live as who they really are, despite dictators, trauma, and fear. ⤵️

ReadingEnvy Some of the story comes from research the author did on the first LGBTQ+ spaces in Uruguay, not in the city but on the very edge of the country between ocean and sand dunes. The five women in the novel buy a shack that becomes their escape. ⤵️ 1mo
ReadingEnvy Each character is unique, they all have individual connections with the other characters, and the time spans 1970s to 2013. I also noticed the tension created by coming out in a time of extreme oppression such as a dictatorship, and the long-term damage that can do. This feels like a story that runs deep for the person writing it as well. 1mo
Cathythoughts Stacking 👍🏻♥️ 1mo
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Lindy Sounds fantastic! 1mo
ReadingEnvy @Lindy I predict it will be in my best books of the year. Let me say that before I was done talking about it during the podcast recording, Karen had purchased it for herself and thought about buying it for her sister! 1mo
Lindy @ReadingEnvy Handsell Queen 🙌 1mo
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The Order of Time | Carlo Rovelli
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Pickpick

My first read of #scienceseptember was a bit of a mind blowing experience, with physics meeting philosophy for a discussion of time. I barely grasped the concepts that were already dumbed down for a layperson - the absence of a "present," how time and entropy relate, equations without time, etc. But I did meet my goal of reading more than just nature stuff for the theme!

BillBlume I‘ve gotta read this. 1mo
Lindy I think I had to read this through twice and still felt that I didn‘t have a firm grasp on all of the concepts by the end. 1mo
BillBlume So glad you mentioned this book. I‘m reading it now, and it‘s so damn good! 4d
ReadingEnvy @BillBlume I still think about it a lot 4d
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Pickpick

I listened to an episode of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books that focused on representations of ace/aro characters in romance, and that made me curious to read something along those lines. I was on a Kindle buying spree and picked up Thaw, which features New York Public Librarian Abby as she navigates a new relationship and a job scare. Like most romance series, other characters have a focus in other volumes but you don't have to start with book one.

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Vivian | Christina Hesselholdt
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Pickpick

Another book to cram into Women In Translation month - Vivian is translated from the Danish. I remember hearing about this American photographer whose work was largely discovered posthumously. Hesselholdt imagines her story from various points of view, allowing Vivian to be hoarder, artist, caregiver, sister, daughter, and friend.

RealBooks4ever Oh, I saw a documentary on her. It was fascinating! If only she had shown her work to the world... 💜 1mo
andrew61 Gosh, new to me, now will have to hunt it down as sounds like a great read. 1mo
ReadingEnvy @RealBooks4ever I saw that too! In some ways it was weird to read a translated book about her because she was an American! 1mo
ReadingEnvy @andrew61 she's fascinating 1mo
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Frankissstein: A Love Story | Jeanette Winterson
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Pickpick

Okay I waited as long as I could to give in and read this ARC. I read all 345 pages last night, which also happened to be Jeanette Winterson's 60th birthday. She interweaves Mary Shelley with a 21st century transgender doctor named Ry - both are obsessed in different ways with concepts of bodies and creation. Themes of gender, found families, sex, creation, and love flow throughout but it's delightful to read and I devoured it.

charl08 Nice timing! I've taken a lot longer but enjoying it. 2mo
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The Islanders: A Novel | Meg Mitchell Moore
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Mehso-so

Here's your Labor Day weekend last days of summer beach read. Told in rotating POVs from three people on Block Island, RI (background pic is one I took on the island in winter several years ago.) I didn't feel like the author needed to keep us readers in suspense about one character's secret as it really isn't a thriller or anything, but I liked the peek into life on this isolated island.

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ReadingEnvy
Everything Under | Daisy Johnson
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Reading Envy Podcast Episode 164: Character Driven with Carol Ann.

Carol Ann is back to talk books with more reading in her rearview. We each talk about books we've liked lately but also end up talking about cheese at the end.

@TheBookAndBeyond

https://tinyurl.com/ReadingEnvy164

Cathythoughts Sounds like a great chat ... and cheese too. I‘ll have a listen soon 2mo
Centique This was a fun listen Jenny. Especially the cheese talk - I‘m always keen to hear some cheesy recipes! 😂😂 1mo
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Flights | Olga Tokarczuk
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Pickpick

I've been reading this book off and on for two months, finally finishing it before the end of #WITmonth - I wouldn't really call this a novel as much as it is fragments with some shared themes. I enjoyed some of the writing and was glad one of the stories came back to conclude in the end. There are themes of travel, moving, death, relationships and what you can/can't control, and home. ⤵️

ReadingEnvy Flights won the Man Booker International Prize that awards the author and translator equally, so I should say I rarely thought about how this was originally Polish, except for some obvious Polish themes... That's to the great credit of the translator, Jennifer Croft. 2mo
Ruthiella Cool. I tried it but couldn‘t get into the bits and pieces and found I wasn‘t retaining anything. 🙁 I think I really need a story to hang on to. 2mo
ReadingEnvy @Ruthiella oh yeah i definitely didn't retain much of it. 2mo
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The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
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Pickpick

The Poppy War combines the magical school idea (more of a martial arts school) featuring an outsider student, with historical events in China (Song Dynasty, Japanese invasion of China,) and a little bit of shamanism. It's the first in a series and I'm not sure I will keep reading as this is so far outside my usual fare, but this author has written an astounding debut at a very young age (I think she is an actual genius.)

Cathythoughts Beautiful cover ✨ 2mo
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Blood Sisters | Kim Yideum
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Pickpick

"Blood Sisters tells the story of Jeong Yeoul, a young Korean college student in the 1980's, when the memory of President Chun Doohwan's violent suppression of student demonstrations was still fresh. Yideum captures the sense of dread felt by many women during this time as Jeong struggles in a swirl of misguided desires and hopelessness against a society distorted by competing ideologies, sexual violence, and cultural conservatism."

ReadingEnvy This feels very contemporary with fragments, broken families, complicated relationships, and this darker threat in the background. A good read for #WITmonth 2mo
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Maresi Red Mantle | Maria Turtschaninoff
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Pickpick

Something different for WITmonth - translated fantasy from Finland (written in Swedish) - I only realized near the end that I was reading book 3 of a series, whoops! But I got enough of the back story along the way. ⤵️

ReadingEnvy Maresi has returned from the Abbey (on a female-only island dedicated to the goddess, inspired by the author's trip near Mount Athos where women are not allowed) to start a school in her village but arrives to a suffering community, and has to figure out what to do on her own. The novel is told in letters to the Sisters and Mother at the Abbey. 2mo
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Mehso-so

This is a book I would not have ever read on my own, as I am not a fan of pop philosophy veiled as fiction. But it was an okay story about two religious leaders who just wanted to have an adventure. Read for the first book club meeting of the new season.

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ReadingEnvy
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Mehso-so

A sex worker in Istanbul has been murdered, and as her brain releases her life, the reader is transported to specific memories and stories. Her life is revealed alongside five close friends (like a Turkish cast of Rent) who play a bigger role in the second half of the story. ⤵️

ReadingEnvy This is on the Man Booker Prize longlist for 2019, but I must say it isn't the best book I've read by this author. Very readable and an interesting structure. ⤵️

2mo
ReadingEnvy .
I had a review copy from the publisher through @netgalley which unfortunate removed all double "ff" and sometimes "ffi" as well as all numbers. This broke my momentum on reading the story every time. ⤵️
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ReadingEnvy And at one point it completely removed the meaning of a street name that seemed important, and some back stories seemed connected to specific years, which I could not tell you the importance of at this point. Luckily I know quite a bit of Turkish history and culture because of my year of reading Turkey. 2mo
Lindy Too bad about the typographical errors in your review copy. That would mar my enjoyment also. 2mo
ReadingEnvy @Lindy it felt more like deliberate omissions but it's hard to know. 2mo
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Self-Portrait in Green | Marie Ndiaye
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Mehso-so

This strange little book won an award for creative non-fiction and is what happened when the author Marie Ndiaye was asked for memoir. Between the floodwaters rising and the mysterious women in green, it reads like anything but reality. It was a quicker read I selected for Women in Translation Month. Translated by Jordan Stump, who must have had a puzzle on his hands.⤵️

ReadingEnvy I wonder about women in relation to specific colors. Yellow wallpaper, women in green... I'm guessing this is important. Sometimes I feel like I read but do not understand.
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I know of, but have not read, other books by Ndiaye. Have you? I'm interested to hear if her fiction falls along similar lines.
2mo
Lcsmcat What an interesting thought. The symbolism of color could go in so many directions. 2mo
merelybookish I read one of her books a while back. You can check out my review on Litsy. 2mo
ReadingEnvy @merelybookish ah interesting so perhaps this is just her outlook on life! 2mo
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ReadingEnvy
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Reading Envy Podcast Episode 163: Fainting Goats.

If you're a fan of the show, you have already heard the episode with Lauren and Jenny recommending books for Women in Translation month. We recorded this episode earlier in the summer, but Jenny was just rearranging the furniture a bit. We talk quite about regional reading goals, translated works, and the wonder of lingering in a place through our reading.
https://tinyurl.com/ReadingEnvy163

Reggie “Maybe if he gave her more development...” Lolololol. 2mo
ReadingEnvy @Reggie 😁🤦 2mo
Centique Great episode Jenny. Man Lauren reads widely too - I loved that discussion about Murakami and your talk about sci fi books at the end. Also have to pick up Bangkok Wakes To Rain, it sounds soooo good. 😊 2mo
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Centique @Reggie 😂😂😂 2mo
ReadingEnvy @Centique Lauren really inspires me. The one time we met in person we talked for five hours. 2mo
Centique @ReadingEnvy wow, that‘s amazing! I can totally see why. I wish I had more bookish people in my real life to do that with 😍 2mo
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Concrete Island | J. G. Ballard
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Mehso-so

A quick read from my 2010 TBR, a Ballard blacklisted title from 1974.

“You were on an island long before you crashed here.”

vivastory I read this one many many years ago & have thought about rereading it recently 2mo
ReadingEnvy @vivastory it's a quickie! 2mo
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Everything Under | Daisy Johnson
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Pickpick

Everything Under by Daisy Johnson is yet another novel based on a myth that I didn't know about until I finished. Arghhhh. But I think it only informs one piece of the story. The non-linear fragmented chapters rotate points of view and narrative voice (2nd person, 3rd person, etc.)⤵️

ReadingEnvy Gretel is an adult and working as a lexicographer, but constantly searching for her mother, who abandoned her 16 years ago. She is also looking for answers about a man who showed up to their boat, where they lived for a majority of her life in the Oxford canals.⤵️ 2mo
ReadingEnvy She and her mom have their own vocabulary but also their own mythology, one that never leaves Gretel as she adjusts to the way the rest of the world lives. There is a lot of "fluidity" in this novel, a very obvious theme from the start, but it changes in its manifestation - the water, gender, time, reality, and so on.⤵️ 2mo
ReadingEnvy I feel like this book is Offshore (Penelope Fitzgerald) adjacent with some themes in common with Elmet (Fiona Mozley) and Ghost Wall (Sarah Moss) but I found myself enjoying the reading process more than those last two.

I also think I'll count it as #somethingswampy for the #readingenvysummerreading challenge.
2mo
BookwormM I loved this one the writing felt magical from the beginning 2mo
ReadingEnvy @BookwormM I was hooked pretty immediately too. 2mo
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ATLANTIC WINDS. | WILLIAM. PRENDIVILLE
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Mehso-so

This novella from fairlight books (via netgalley) is about a small mill town in 1970s Canada when the mill closes. It focuses on a handful of children but is not YA in tone. I read it during the netgalley #reviewathon and added it to my #coldweatherisland bookshelf.