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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
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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"...No marriage makes sense. Especially not to the outside world. A marriage is its own world." This is said to the narrator by her mother fairly deep into the book, but if you replace "marriage" with "person" it might better encapsulate the novel. ↘️

ReadingEnvy Martha is in her 30s and isn't quite sure what she wants, so the reader sees her in a few relationships and also dealing with her family, who play a prominent role in her life, largely because they live in proximity in the UK. At some point it also becomes about mental illness.↘️ 2mo
ReadingEnvy This took me a while to read (two Libby checkouts) and often felt tedious - the author is able to capture the somewhat obsessive way some people think about relationships and each encounter long past it serving them well, but whew! It makes it take a while to get through.

I stuck with it because it's on the shortlist of the Women's Prize for Fiction.
2mo
charl08 This is the one I still have to finish from the longlist. Need to buckle down and get to it 💪 1mo
See All 23 Comments
Dragon Always enjoyed your reviews- 💔 1mo
Lindy @Dragon Me too. I‘m shocked and so sad to learn that Jenny has died. 💔 1mo
Dragon @Lindy she was so young. It‘s hard to fathom 💔 1mo
Billypar Adding a link here to Jenny's memorial wall on Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/22225628-tribute-to-jenny-memorial-wall?com...

I'm certainly going to miss her @Lindy @Dragon - she inspired so many people.
1mo
Dragon Thanks 🙏 for the link @Billypar 1mo
Centique @Billypar ohhhh I just found out. I am just in total shock right now. Thank you for the link Vinnie 💔 1mo
Cinfhen Thank you for sharing @Billypar this is the most heartbreaking news 💔 1mo
Billypar @Centique @Cinfhen It's tough to accept - I still feel like I'm in shock. Have either of you seen if someone has posted about her passing here? I was thinking of doing that just to make sure everyone knows. 1mo
Cinfhen I haven‘t seen anything @Billypar and I feel like the Litsy community would want to know. Especially since Jenny was on board from the very early days and many were fans of her podcast. 1mo
Billypar @Cinfhen Okay - thanks Cindy! I'll do that now. Jenny was actually the one who introduced me to Litsy via a mention on her podcast. I hope more readers will continue to discover her show and it provides them with the same joy and inspiration it did for so many of us. 1mo
kspenmoll @Billypar Thank you for sharing this devastating new‘s of Jenny‘s death. I have her “ readingenvy pin” which she sent me early on the tea. 1mo
Crazeedi I'm so sorry to hear this , too sad 1mo
marleed So sad :( 1mo
Cinfhen Scroll up @Desha and you will see a link to her GoodReads wall that @Billypar shared 1mo
Billypar @kspenmoll She was so thoughtful! I'm not sure about the pin but I still have some of that home-made tea she sent after I participated in one of the readalongs. 1mo
Desha @Cinfhen thank you so much! 💗 1mo
4thhouseontheleft @Billypar thank you for sharing this devastating news. 💔 1mo
Billypar @4thhouseontheleft Thanks for checking in - I think it helps us all cope to hear from everyone who is missing Jenny 💙 1mo
MatchlessMarie @Billypar I‘m not as active here as I once was. I am so sad to hear about this news. I was always so happy to see her reviews pop up under the majority of books I added to my tbr on Goodreads. She will surely be missed 😢💔 3w
Billypar @MatchlessMarie Yeah, it's still really tough to accept. There's a #RememberingJenny tag where people are posting reviews of books Jenny recommended, which is a nice remembrance. And it's so true about her reviews - for seriously like 90% of the books I've read. 3w
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review
ReadingEnvy
Other Russias | Victoria Lomasko
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This is my 6th Litsyversary! Huzzah.

This was a quick read for the non fiction quarter of #readingenvyrussia - the artist was present for many 21st century protests in Russia, and also did some reportage with groups of people like "working women" and a group of people who had been basically slaves imported from bordering countries but the local government turned a blind eye.↘️

ReadingEnvy Some of the graphic art is in the moment, like during a court proceeding or a protest march, while some is more refined. Both styles are powerful, and Victoria Lomasko's art and activism are deeply intwined. 2mo
Jas16 Happy Litsyversary 🎉📚🙌🏽📖 2mo
Nute Happy Litsyversary, Jenny!💕 I really enjoy your podcast! 2mo
See All 7 Comments
Leftcoastzen Happy Litsyversary!👏 2mo
Maria514626 Thanks for the recommendation, @ReadingEnvy I look forward to reading this after my current book—highly recommended! 2mo
vivastory Happy Litsyversary! 2mo
ReadingEnvy @Maria514626 ooh thanks 2mo
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review
ReadingEnvy
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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Leah and Miri were married when Leah went on a deep sea expedition that went missing. The novel starts with her back at home but definitely not the same. In some ways the change could symbolize any partner becoming somewhat of a stranger over time, but in other ways it's a literary horror novel watching her wife's body become unfamiliar. The chapters alternate between points of view which always works for me, and I couldn't put it down. ↘️

ReadingEnvy Also I love both these covers.I get a lot of eARCs for books but try not to post about them until they are out, however I messed up and read this four months early and I'll never remember that long. One of my Goodreads groups was reading it as a group read, I guess because it was out in the UK already, so I just assumed! The rest of you, watch out in July! 2mo
vivastory I'm looking forward to this one. I love the UK cover 💙 2mo
ReadingEnvy @vivastory it's so great and captures the mood of the book very well 2mo
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review
ReadingEnvy
An Island | Karen Jennings
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Mehso-so

This was longlisted (but not shortlisted) for the Booker Prize in 2021 but is just now coming out in the United States later this month. I had early access from Random House in audio.↘️

ReadingEnvy Karen Jennings is a white South African writer, and I only say this because the narrative voice and audiobook narrator (Ben Onwukwe) are definitely Black. The narrator in the story is African but the country of origin is unnamed. This made me a little squirmy for sure - Africa is a varied and complex place and I don't think it hurts anyone to just go ahead and place the story relating to a specific time and place. ↘️ 2mo
ReadingEnvy The story is about Samuel, who has been tending a lighthouse on an island off the coast of "somewhere in Africa" for two decades. He has regular deliveries of supplies but lives mostly on his own. Some kind of conflict has sent the occasional dead body to his shore, and he always buries them. One day, one of the bodies is still alive and it puts his small life and his personal history in a spin. 2mo
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review
ReadingEnvy
The Stone Collection | Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm
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My last read of April, the latest book of short stories included in the Indigenous Reading Circle - I really enjoyed the voice in the stories, and quite a bit of internal dialogue, something I've learned I like when done well.

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review
ReadingEnvy
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This is a feat of research and writing about Ukraine in the 1930s, and how Stalin's policies intentionally targeted Ukrainians, resulting in widespread famine and what many consider genocide. From collectivization to dekulakization, the author shows how Ukraine was stripped of its resources and culture and then punished further for not being able to provide more. ↘️

ReadingEnvy I was shocked this time period is still highly debated/contested - largely by the Russian government - well shocked might be too strong of a word, after all Putin borrows from Stalin in categorizing Ukrainians as Nazis in order to justify his decisions.↘️ 2mo
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ReadingEnvy
Master of Djinn | P Djeli Clark
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I like the world building of an alternate history/ steampunk / fantasy Egypt and the forefront of Cairo and Egyptian culture, detached a bit from the British empire even if they are a presence and central to the main plot. It feels like the primary message is don't underestimate women! Ha.

I do think my enjoyment of the novel was enhanced by my reading of the three connected novellas.

Centique I felt the same way - the novellas were so good, they enhanced the novels 😍 2mo
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review
ReadingEnvy
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I've had this on my TBR forever but it took the non-fiction quarter of #readingenvyrussia to finally get to it. If you're like me and struggle to read history, make it a cultural history like this one, where the history is told sideways through the life and work of an artist, in this case the composer Dmitri Shostakovich and his hometown of Leningrad, up until and during the Siege itself. ↘️

ReadingEnvy The publisher is also YA and while this book is considered YA, I didn't find it overly simplified in its discussion of the music or the history. The author does a fantastic job narrating his own work, bringing a vibrance to the political and musical worlds of Shostakovich. ↘️ 2mo
ReadingEnvy Many of you know one of my goals this year was to better understand how Russia moved from WWI into the 1950s and still remain a powerhouse despite - or as I'm learning on top of - the devastation to the country and its people. The background of this story displays many of the missteps made by the Soviet government - really mostly Stalin - on the German front in particular, but also in dealing with their own citizens. ↘️ 2mo
ReadingEnvy One somewhat sordid argument this author uncovers is that it was Stalin's history of food deprivation that may have trained the citizens of Leningrad to survive what should have been an impossible solution. I don't want to give him that much credit, but it was an interesting tangent.

And who will now go on a Shostakovich listening spree? It's me!
2mo
See All 9 Comments
andrew61 Fantastic review jenny. I read a novel about the recording a few years ago and found it fascinating the whole process of recording a symphony inbthe midst of starvation and war. I will definitely be finding some of his music to listen to and also looking for this book. Increasingly I find my route to classical music through references in novels. 2mo
Daisey This is one of my most memorable nonfiction audiobooks! I need to listen to it again. 2mo
ReadingEnvy @andrew61 yes they mention that briefly! I was going to look to see if I could find it. Knowing several.members of the symphony died between him finishing and that performance is pretty insane 2mo
EvieBee Yes! I loved this sooo much and the audio version was a smash. 2mo
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review
ReadingEnvy
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I always try to read before watching, so I had to wait for this one on hold at the public library. A very sweet graphic novel about crushes, first love, rugby, and whether or not to be out in high school.

Cortg I just placed a hold on this one earlier in the week after a coworker raved about the series. 2mo
ReadingEnvy @Cortg it is quick! 2mo
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ReadingEnvy
Sister's Story | Donatella Di Pietrantonio
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I really loved the last book by this author - A Girl Returned - and this one is good too, focused more on a sister relationship, with one sister trying to support/rescue her sister without ever knowing the full story. Set largely in a fishing community in an Italian coastal town, and a quick read.

blurb
ReadingEnvy
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Reading Envy Podcast Episode 246: Unsettling Endings with Yanira

Yanira shares why she deleted Goodreads and how it's improved her reading life, and we talk about rereading books before we dig into books we've read and liked lately.

Listen and subscribe:
https://tinyurl.com/ReadingEnvy246

review
ReadingEnvy
Deaf Republic: Poems | Ilya Kaminsky
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I have always meant to read this collection and what better time than when Ukraine is in the news - the poet was born in Odessa, although it was the Soviet Union at the time - and this collection tells the story of a village fighting back. I recommend finding the poet reading his work - he lost most of his hearing at age 4 and that figures into this collection for sure. My favorite is still We Lived Happily During the War.

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ReadingEnvy
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These stories link back to Dirty Computer the album and Dirty Computer [Emotion Picture] that you can watch in YouTube. Written in collabortion with Yohanca Delgado, Eve L. Ewing, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Danny Lore, and Sheree Renée Thomas, all stories are set in this dystopian tech-totalitarian society where people who are outside the norms (aka Dirty Computers) are hunted down and imprisoned, memories wiped, and more.↘️

ReadingEnvy All stories are full of queerness, feminism, quirky creative elements, and positive spins on how humans could interact with one another. 2mo
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review
ReadingEnvy
End of the World House | Adrienne Celt
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Bertie and Kate are the kind of friends who reconnect in an instant, have inside jokes and their own universe when they are together. The world around them is falling apart with bombings and refugees, and Kate decides to move to Los Angeles instead of buying a house in northern California like they'd planned.↘️

ReadingEnvy They end up in Paris on a last hurrah, where they meet a mysterious man who can get them into the Louvre even though it is closed for safety. And that's where the strangeness begins, or at least, when they start to notice it. Is it part of the apocalypse? Is someone experimenting with them? Is it the museum or the world? Regardless, days seem very familiar, and then Kate disappears. 2mo
ReadingEnvy This was a fun read..I'm not sure I'm satisfied by the ending entirely but I did enjoy the journey. I feel like this is a mix of Piranesi and the film Seeking a Friend for the End of World, but I liked it more than Piranesi. 2mo
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review
ReadingEnvy
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Black scholars are gathered together to discuss solutions for several areas where Black people are specifically marginalized and underserved. From health care to technology to the environment to the justice system, these are important ideas that should be not just included but centered. Chapters are short, by different scholars in each field, and use a variety of sources - academic and recent news rhetoric, etc.

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blurb
ReadingEnvy
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Reading Envy Podcast Episode 245: Looking Back at the Russian Novel

At the end of March, a handful of us gathered to discuss what we had read for the Russian novel quarter of Reading Envy Russia. We also discuss the works we abandoned, some dips into Ukrainian literature, and talked more about what makes a novel quintessentially Russian.

Listen and subscribe!
https://tinyurl.com/ReadingEnvy245

Suet624 Wow. I was so absorbed in the Tournament of Books that I missed out on all of these. Purchased The Possessed and never quite got around to it. Good intentions and all that... 2mo
ReadingEnvy I'm still going to be reading more until the end of the year, because I did not get to nearly as much as I had hoped! 2mo
Ruthiella Just finished listening! 👍 2mo
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review
ReadingEnvy
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Mehso-so

I expected there to be memorable characters and there are - Simon, Ralph, Piggy, Roger, etc. - I don't think I expected some of the ethereal writing that I encountered. It made me wish I was reading the same author on different content

rwmg May I recommend "The Inheritors"? Neanderthals watch Cro-Magnons move into their territory. Personally, I prefer it to LOTF. 2mo
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review
ReadingEnvy
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I'd always meant to read this and the years went by, and finally it came up in Hoopla and I downloaded the audio version, narrated by multiple voices. This comes in handy since several of these stories have multiple points of view, often the male and female in a relationship with both of their perspectives. (I specify male and female since the stories only have heterosexual relationships.)

Kathleen Collins is a strong voice ... ↘️

ReadingEnvy and we are lucky her daughter pulled together this collection of stories. (Since I'm reading this 6 years after publication, I also note that there is a book with her diaries and more stories that has come out since - Notes from a Black Woman's Diary.) According to her daughter, who writes the forward to the collection, the stories are highly autobiographical, to the extent that she the daughter recognized the people in the stories. ↘️ 2mo
ReadingEnvy
I liked how these stories are very much about black women and the people in their immediate periphery, with their own lives and cultural queues and internal dialogues between expectations they feel placed on them and what they actually desire. Most are set in the 1960s in fairly urban/city type settings, with characters who are intelligent and not overly religious. ↘️
2mo
ReadingEnvy I would read more of these stories, I would watch the film adaptation, and I also want to go watch the only film she ever made - Losing Ground. 2mo
batsy Nice review. I loved this one a lot. I've been meaning to read this 2mo
ReadingEnvy @batsy I bet it's good! 2mo
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ReadingEnvy
Wildcat: A Novel | Amelia Morris
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Mehso-so

This has been lingering on my eARC list for a while and I finally read it! It's about motherhood in your 30s and how relationships change with the added dimension of LA's classist culture and a pretty strong anti-vax storyline, pre-covid.

There's a bit of a revenge plot that made me not 100% on the protagonist's side but I guess at least she's not just letting life happen to her. There are also some funny and/or absurd moments.

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ReadingEnvy
Thresh and Hold | Marlanda Dekine
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I bought this because it won the 2021 New Southern Voices Poetry Prize.

The poems are about the poet's multi-generational background and rural childhood, full of Gullah-Geechee culture as a living vibrant element the poet also participates in while also queering that experience, all serving to look at these details with fresh eyes. The poems about parents and grandparents are particularly memorable, as is "Hurricane Family."

ReadingEnvy So then I'm reading the acknowledgments like I always do and the poet thanks several people I know - a music major who is now an opera singer in France, a former academic dean, and a former chaplain. I did a little research to discover they were a student at the university where I work, with just a few years overlap. Perhaps we met. 2mo
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ReadingEnvy
By Any Other Name | Lauren Kate
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So you know how romance and cozy mystery share the truth that you can always find your flavor? I think one of mine is people who work in publishing. Not authors themselves (that is almost too common) but editors and interns and publishers. Thanks, Younger.↘️ #romantsy

ReadingEnvy Lanie is moved up to the editor role of a publishing company's number one romance author, the reason she got into publishing in the first place. But the author is a mystery and has not been delivering like she usually does. Something must be up! And Lanie's personal life isn't going great either - her fiance uses every opportunity to try to get her to quit her job and move to D.C. to support his political ambitions.↘️ 3mo
ReadingEnvy This is an instance where I was happy to get to the obvious HEA (happily ever after) but wanted to read the rest of the story too. It's ironic considering one plot point of the story! 3mo
MyNamesParadise Thanks for the review! I just picked this up from the library yesterday! 3mo
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ReadingEnvy
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Publisher summary excerpt:
"[This novel] follows four individuals over the course of a volatile Ukrainian winter, as their lives are forever changed by the Euromaidan protests. Katya is a Ukrainian-American doctor stationed at a makeshift medical clinic; Misha is an engineer originally from Pripyat; Slava is a fiery young activist; and Aleksandr Ivanovich, a former KGB agent, climbs atop a burned-out police bus and plays the piano."↘️

ReadingEnvy Set in 2013-14 but also rooted in the complexities of the past (from the mythical Rus to Cossacks to Chernobyl), alternating viewpoints include the four characters plus news articles, cassette recordings, songs, and more. It's very readable and brings the reader into the intimacy of the recent past for Ukraine. ↘️ 3mo
ReadingEnvy I was trying to read non-fiction about Stalin's war on Ukraine and was drawn back into fiction instead.

The author is not Ukrainian but is donating all proceeds of the book to relief orgs benefitting Ukrainian people.
3mo
BookNAround This just came in the mail for me today! 3mo
Cathythoughts Strong title 👍🏻 3mo
ReadingEnvy @BookNAround I hope you enjoy! 3mo
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ReadingEnvy
Pandora's Star | Peter F Hamilton
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1143 pages later, I finally finished Pandora's Star, the March pick for the Sword and Laser book club. I didn't love every minute but kept going because the whole point is exposure to a wide variety of fantasy and science fiction books!

Where to even begin. If lives can be repeated through rejuvenation and the entire universe is your worldbuilding, how can an author even fit it into one book? (He didn't, this ends on a cliffhanger!) ↘️

ReadingEnvy The book was published in 2004 and sometimes feels so outdated (some language use is downright offensive!) while other times it feels very current (people in Santa Monica care more about their power disruption than the plight of intergalactic refugees.) ↘️ 3mo
ReadingEnvy Some of the aliens were interesting, the underlying mystery was frustrating, and by the time threads were being pulled together I'd forgotten where they'd started. And since the story doesn't end, I may never know if some of my suspicions are accurate.

I'd rather read eight shorter novels focused in on eight of the story lines. And of all the world building, I really just want to be able to hop on a loop train, thanks.
3mo
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blurb
ReadingEnvy
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Reading Envy Podcast Episode 244: 2nd Quarter - Russian Non-Fiction

Lauren W. will be co-hosting this non-fiction quarter of Reading Envy Russia. We share books we have already read and freely recommend, and also chat about the piles and shelves of books we are considering. The book covers pictured are only a small slice!

Listen and subscribe:
https://tinyurl.com/ReadingEnvy244

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review
ReadingEnvy
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Mehso-so

I slid into the non-fiction quarter of #readingenvyrussia with a short illustrated memoir of a childhood under the "iron curtain." I loved the illustrations, particularly of the mother, always shown in one ballet position or another. These were difficult times and moreso for this family, being Jewish. There is no indication of what happened later on in his life, so it just feels like a capture of a moment in time.

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ReadingEnvy
Time Is a Mother | Ocean Vuong
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Those of us who have read Vuong's previous works will be familiar with his mother, and she died of cancer in 2019. So some of these poems deal with grief, also recovery, rural realities, family, and more. I listened to the audio of the poet reading them while reading the eARC and Ocean is a very small statured person with a quiet voice, but it's deceptive because his words always pack a punch.

Suet624 I missed the fact he had published another book. 3mo
ReadingEnvy @Suet624 it comes out tuesdat 3mo
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ReadingEnvy
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Mehso-so

This is the third (and assumed last) STEMinista novella from Ali Hazelwood where Hannah the aerospace engineer is rescued in Svalbard by someone who has tried keeping her from the mission. But why? ... I assume this is the last because at the end the three heroines from the novellas have a gathering.

I listened to the audio in the Volumes app, narrated by Savannah Peachwood. It comes out April 5.

It's a so-so because it's fine! Fluff. #romantsy

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ReadingEnvy
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Mira Jacob writes about what it is like to be brown (for her, Indian with darker skin than her other family members) in the America post 9/11 up through Trump's election win. Not only that but married to a Jewish (white) man whose parents refuse to see the harm in voting for Trump, and mother of a young mixed race boy with Questions. ↘️

ReadingEnvy What I love is her very frank tone. In all the "talks" in the book she shows how she navigates difficult situations where people want her to make them feel better about racism, often their own, and what happens when she doesn't. This includes one very difficult conversation with her husband! The art is hand-drawn people often cut out and laid over stock photos, which adds a dimension of reality to what is happening. 3mo
vivastory I love this one. It kinda cemented my love for graphic memoirs when I read it the beginning of last year. 3mo
JenReadsAlot Great book! 3mo
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charl08 Such a good book. Time for a reread I think. 3mo
ReadingEnvy @vivastory any other recommendations? I keep finding my way to graphic non fiction this year. 3mo
vivastory Earlier this year I read, & loved, Radtke's Seek You. I think you might have read it? I liked her previous book, “Imagine Wanting Only This“ (a gn grief memoir also about urban exploration/ruins) even more! Another stand out volume was Thi Bui's The Best We Could Do. It reminded me a lot of Jacob's book in how it addressed the immigrant experience in America, but Bui delves into the Indochina War & is from the perspective of Vietnamese refugees. (edited) 3mo
vivastory The watercolor artwork is perfect & often astonishing. Derf Backderf is another favorite. I have now read 3 of his graphic works & would recommend any of them, but Kent State is esp. informative & memorable,. Finally, for one that is a bit more under the radar, I recommend Nicole Georges' Calling Dr. Laura. Georges is informed during a palm reading that that her bio. father, who she had been told was dead, is still alive. Messy family dynamic & (edited) 3mo
vivastory some humorous moments throughout. The artwork, while nto quite as impressive as the others I mentioned, works for Georges narrative & she adds some nice flourishes from time to time. I believe I left full reviews on Litsy for all of these titles. Hope it helps. 3mo
ReadingEnvy @vivastory thanks! I've read some of what you listed but not Backderf, will look for it! 3mo
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ReadingEnvy
Lolita | Vladimir Nabokov
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Reading Envy Podcast Episode 243: Russian Novel Speed Date *BONUS EPISODE*

It's been a while since I've done a speed dating bonus episode, and this one is all about Russian novels for the Reading Envy Russia novel quarter. I discuss books I tried, what I thought of them, and books I read previously.

Listen and subscribe:
https://tinyurl.com/ReadingEnvy243

review
ReadingEnvy
The Time Of Women | Elena Chizhova
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The story is set in Russia in the mid 20th century, about a factory worker who is an unwed mother. She ends up living with three old women and together they try to navigate the bureaucracy to have enough to eat, to wash, to heat, but also to keep young Suzanna/Sofia at home. I liked how much it shows a daily slice of life for normal people with a little bit of drama. ↘️

ReadingEnvy The Time of Women won the Russian Booker Prize in 2009 and was translated into English in 2012. 3mo
Cathythoughts Amazing cover ♥️ 3mo
ReadingEnvy @Cathythoughts yes it's very striking! 3mo
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ReadingEnvy
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Those of you who read The Possessed and/or a Russian novel for the first quarter of #readingenvyrussia - reminder we are having an online discussion at 2 pm EST today!
Send me an email if you aren't part of the Goodreads group and want a link, my username at gmail.

If you switched course and went with Ukrainian lit, I'd love to have you join us too!

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ReadingEnvy
Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time: An Indigenous Lgbt Sci-Fi Anthology | Hope Nicholson, Daniel Heath Justice, Richard Van Camp, David Alexander Robertson
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Mehso-so

This was the original March pick for Indigenous Reading Circle but it was discovered to be out of print. I took advantage of interlibrary loan to read it anyway.

First of all, I skipped the Gwen Benaway story after learning she had lied about an indigenous background.

My favorite stories were ALIENS by Richard Van Camp, LEGENDS ARE MADE, NOT BORN by Cherie Dimaline, and NÉ LE! by Darcie Little Badger.

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ReadingEnvy
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Library haul!

Two for foster son, one for April Sword and Laser, one I've been meaning to read forever, one for #readingenvyrussia non-fiction quarter, and one Booker International longlist title that followed me home.

sarahbarnes I‘m intrigued by the “leisure” sticker on the very long Books of Jacob. 😂 I‘m still working my way through that one. 3mo
ReadingEnvy @sarahbarnes at our academic library it's more like "this is a novel" 3mo
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ReadingEnvy
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Most of these stories share a theme of the destruction of the earth, from climate change or alien intervention, and how characters (queer, 2 spirit) from indigenous communities are dealing with circumstances. If you are a guardian of the earth, do you stay to the end? What kind of new communities can be formed? What about AI or VR?

ReadingEnvy Mostly when I read short stories, I expect every word to matter, for a high value to be placed on scarcity. I found many of these stories to be in a storytelling voice (two in particular are like a faux memoir or history tone) and I wonder if that has anything to do with the framing of indigenous voices, is there some level of traditional technique being employed here? The discussion with the Indigenous Reading Circle should be interesting! 3mo
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ReadingEnvy
Recitatif | Toni Morrison
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I listened to the audio edition of the only short story Toni Morrison ever wrote, narrated by Bahni Turpen. If you get the audio, which is under two hours, the story doesn't start until 59:21, because the entire first half is an essay on the story by Zadie Smith. I'm of the personal opinion that one should read the work before reading commentary on said work, and continue to skip intros, prefaces, and more. ↘️

Sapphire I agree about commentary. Thanks for the warning. 3mo
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ReadingEnvy
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Pickpick

"The Shao family had become a textbook case study in trauma. But with aliens."

I first heard of Mike Chen on the Reading Glasses podcast, as he's a friend of their show. This book is a different sort of read because it really is more about this one family than it is a more traditional science fiction novel, and even the idea of whether it is a science fiction novel depends on which character you find most trustworthy. ↘️

ReadingEnvy It's been 15 years since Jakob disappeared on a family hike at a lake. Kass, the self proclaimed responsible one, is caring for her mother who has dementia, while Evie has become the host of a show about alien abductions. Evie and Jakob are twins and she's convinced he was abducted. Kass is pretty sure he is dead or being irresponsible, probably on drugs in some foreign country. Then Jakob returns, dot dot dot. 3mo
vivastory This sounds really interesting. It sounds a bit ambiguous on the sf elements. (edited) 3mo
ReadingEnvy @vivastory I know! It's hard to talk about because of this, even harder to categorize. But it would be an interesting discussion book 3mo
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vivastory I'm definitely intrigued. I see my library has a copy. Think I'll sneak out during lunch and grab it! 3mo
EvieBee Sold! Running to the library in 15 mins. 3mo
ReadingEnvy @vivastory @EvieBee let me know what you think! 3mo
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Truly Devious: A Mystery | Maureen Johnson
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Reading Envy Podcast Episode 242:
Dark and Gloomy with Claire

I was happy to sit down and talk to Claire, a reader from the upcoming generation. She likes dark and gloomy books! Jenny also took the opportunity to read a few YA books she had not yet gotten to, and went dark and gloomy too.

What are your teens reading these days?

Listen and subscribe:
https://tinyurl.com/ReadingEnvy242

Lindy This conversation with a 13-year-old reader was charming. Wait Till Helen Comes brings back memories of my early days at the public library. That book was on the PNLA Young Readers Choice Award list that we were promoting with school visits. Some schools forbade us from booktalking it because of the ghost element. 3mo
ReadingEnvy @Lindy both Claire's mother and I read it in elementary school. It's funny to see the same authors read now. And people dont seem worried about ghosts these days... 3mo
Lindy @ReadingEnvy You read it in elementary school… now I feel old! 😂 3mo
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Zuleikha | Guzel Yakhina
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Pickpick

This 21st century Russian novel, by a woman and about a woman, rose to the top of the novels I was considering for #readingenvyrussia - it is set in the 1930s as the Red Army is moving through rural regions of the country, removing people from land they owned and had worked while moving toward collectivism for all farming. ↘️

ReadingEnvy I had the mistaken impression that Communism was pro-peasant class but learned that landowning people, referred to as kulak, were treated as enemies. Many were killed outright, as Zuleikha's husband is, and many were sent to work camps in Siberia, as Zuleikha is. Neither of these are really spoilers although they take some time to happen.↘️ 3mo
ReadingEnvy Other parts of interest - Zuleikha and her husband are Muslim, something I haven't seen much of in Russian literature so far. She also is in service to her mother in law, a terrible woman. The underlying premise seems to be that her life improves in Siberia. There are other memorable characters like a doctor, the commandant, a female soldier, even an artist. But the real star is Zuleikha. 3mo
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It's time for the first quarter discussion for #readingenvyrussia - the novels. Please send me a message or find the Zoom link in the Goodreads group. It will be May 27th at 2 pm EST.

I know this has been the worst year ever to focus on Russia. If you ended up reading Ukrainian lit instead, feel free to join the discussion. ↘️

ReadingEnvy Also please come if:
1. You read a Russian novel to participate in the challenge
2. You started a Russian novel for the challenge that you did not finish for REASONS
3. You still hope to finish that Russian novel you started.

This will also be when we discuss Elif Batuman's book The Possessed.

The discussion will be recorded but only the audio will be used; video is always optional; captioning is provided.
3mo
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Pickpick

Frida has a bad day, and leaves her infant at home alone. Her neighbor turns her in and she ends up sent to a rehabilitation school for bad mothers. This is dystopia but doesn't feel very far off, and I actually found it hard to read, but in your usual dystopian way.

Alfoster Yes! It‘s creepy good!😱 3mo
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Free Love: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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Mehso-so

Phyllis is a 40 year old suburban housewife in 1967 when the son of friends kisses her in the dark after a dinner party. She leaves her family on somewhat of a whim and enters his world of artists and socio-political upheaval, much to the confusion of her husband and kids.↘️

ReadingEnvy I was struck by how differently London feels during this era (at least, as written by this author) from how I usually encounter the United States during the same era, which is more dominated by war and civil rights (and of course, Communism being more tolerated in the UK.) But it is because of this that Phyllis might as well leap into a new life.↘️ 3mo
ReadingEnvy The book is kind of slow but really picks up at 65% or so, when a detail is revealed that explains why the author gave us previous detail that felt unimportant. There is a lot of clash between old ways and the new, for instance the younger boy is sent off to boarding school the way his family had always done it, while the older daughter is left to fend for herself (and because of traditional roles, also expended to fend for her father.) 3mo
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Heaven | Mieko Kawakami
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Pickpick

CW for violence, harm to children, suicidal ideation, eating disorders, self-harm.

Oof. Well I went looking for books from the new Booker International Prize longlist for 2022, and found this one in #hoopla. It was originally published in Japan in 2009, and published in the English translation by Sam Bett and David Boyd, the same team that translated Breasts and Eggs. ↘️

ReadingEnvy A 14-year old boy with a lazy eye is referred to as "Eyes" by his classmates and is the victim of ongoing, outrageous bullying. He is befriended by a girl in his class, Kojima, who is also a victim of bullying, but admittedly exhibits strange behavior like not bathing or eating, deliberate acts in her own logic to connect to her father who left. They write letters about everything except their experiences at school. ↘️ 4mo
ReadingEnvy There is a chilling scene where the boy asks one of the bullies WHY and the answer is the most nihilistic darkness I've ever heard - and this serves to mess with the boy even worse than the physical bullying. 4mo
BarbaraBB Spot on review! 3mo
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If You Ask Me | Libby Hubscher
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Mehso-so

Violet is a popular but anonymous advice columnist for a NC newspaper, until her husband of 12 years leaves her and it ends up in her column. She meets a local firefighter when she lights her ex-husband's prized belongings on fire. I guess ultimately this is a romance but it is also about opening up to other people in general, and what to do instead of seeking revenge.

#romantsy

ReadingEnvy I had a copy from the publisher through Netgalley and it came out March 8th. 4mo
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Truly Devious: A Mystery | Maureen Johnson
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Pickpick

I was in the mood for a good old boarding school mystery novel but nobody told me this was the start of a series and nothing resolves completely until the last book! But this was an engaging read I found in #hoopla.

LiteraryinLawrence I genuinely liked books 2 and 3 also so hopefully the series aspect ends up being a good thing! 4mo
ReadingEnvy @LiteraryinLawrence that's good! I will definitely be reading them. 4mo
BeththeBookDragon I loved these. And the next Stevie Bell too 4mo
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Hooked_on_books Great character, great series. I tore through these! 4mo
ReadingEnvy @Hooked_on_books the character is fun! 4mo
ReadingEnvy @BeththeBookDragon a separate book with Stevie? or a new series? 4mo
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Reading Envy Podcast Episode 241: Feral Pigeons with Laurie

Laurie is back and we talk about book challenges, even one in French! Since she is a biologist, science comes up as a theme in multiple ways.

Listen and subscribe:
https://tinyurl.com/ReadingEnvy241

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Emily of New Moon | Lucy M Montgomery
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Pickpick

Can I squeeze this into my mid-century women reading project if it came.out in 1923? I read all the Anne of Green Gables books but for some reason was never really interested in Emily as a child. (Looking at covers, I remember the dark gloomy book on the left, this newer refreshed cover may have compelled me!) ↘️

ReadingEnvy Emily is orphaned and moves in with her mother's family in New Moon, PEI. She has to navigate rules, school, and friends while also managing a passion for writing (the joke here seems to be the passion without the talent, for now.) There are a lot of similarities to Anne and I wonder how far down the road from each other these girls are; PEI not being huge. 4mo
LeahBergen I ❤️ Emily! 4mo
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Stuck with You | Ali Hazelwood
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Pickpick

The second novella in The STEMinist series by Ali Hazelwood is possibly the first lovers to enemies story I've read, and moves between two days, one which also has a forced proximity situation.

This comes out March 8 and I listened to the audio read by Meg Sylvan.

#romantsy

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Panpan

After sticking with this one through the first 3/4 I skimmed the last bit, like, it's really not going anywhere, it's not going to improve, you're still going to randomly italicize four emotion words in the middle of this paragraph, okay.

It's about illness and family and writer's block, and also it's not. Everything is fragmented. Nothing goes anywhere.

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ReadingEnvy
It Would Be Night in Caracas | Karina Sainz Borgo
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Pickpick

The novel is by Karina Sainz Borgo and translated by Elizabeth Bryer. The author is a journalist from Venezuela who relocated to Madrid, and the main character of the novel follows a similar path. The novel is so focused on her life and struggles without a lot of context so I had to do a lot of reading about Venezuela - its government, the poverty, the violence - it's all there in the background but not something I knew a lot about. ↘️

ReadingEnvy And the way the main character encounters it is as a woman alone - at the beginning she has to bury her mother who died because there was no health care infrastructure, without family because they were either dead or unwilling to risk traveling. It isn't long before she decides she has to flee the country, and while a lot of convenient things have to happen for that to work, it is still harrowing.↘️ 4mo
ReadingEnvy Interestingly, Venezuela has been in the news this week because they blamed the U.N. and United States for what is happening in Ukraine. That initiated another internet rabbit hole, to find Venezuela closely aligned with Russia and Cuba.↘️ 4mo
ReadingEnvy The other thing I did was to spend some time in Google Maps, looking at some of the amazing rainforest landscapes found in the south of the country, and read recent stories about an American who has been held under espionage charges for several years. 4mo
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The Wolf at the Door | Charlie Adhara
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Reading Envy Podcast Episode 240: Air Quotes with Chris Carey

Chris visits the podcast for the first time, where we discuss web comics and where they live, book clubs and book goals, book slumps and book challenges. We also manage to discuss several debut novels across a wide range of genres, but all with strong representation!

Listen and subscribe:
https://tinyurl.com/ReadingEnvy240