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Redwritinghood
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Mehso-so

I find this one really hard to rate. On the one hand, it is an important story highlighting racial injustices in the US. It also touches on arguments against the death penalty and on how it disproportionately impacts POC and the mentally ill and disabled. As a book, however, it is ok. This is only the author‘s account of his personal experiences, which were horrible, and not a broader discussion of the issues noted above. Writing was also so-so.

MsLeah8417 😮😮😮😮😮😮 It‘s a memoir. What else is he suppose to discuss?🤦🏾‍♀️ (edited) 1d
Redwritinghood @MsLeah8417 But he didn‘t stick to memoir. I can understand why he would want to use his experience in discussion of the broader issues, but if you‘re going to do that you need to bring more to the table. 1d
MsLeah8417 How did he not stick to “memoir”? 1d
MsLeah8417 And if you want “broader discussion of the issue” I suggest you read Just Mercy written by Mr. Hinton‘s attorney, Bryan Stevenson. 1d
62 likes4 comments
review
Redwritinghood
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Mehso-so

Probably my biggest issue with this book is that I just didn‘t care what happened to any of the characters. They were all drawn as petty children, parochial in their own sense of their worldliness. I think that was intentional, but even unlikable characters can be interesting if there is a story that works. This one doesn‘t. The first part is very dramatic. The second part switches to a different character‘s POV. The ending - 🤷🏻‍♀️ Maybe 2.5⭐️

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Redwritinghood
Gingerbread: A Novel | Helen Oyeyemi
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Pickpick

While it was sometimes difficult to get a hold on the story line, this whimsical and intriguing book is still a pick. The audiobook is read by the author and her voice is incredibly charming and lends a further fairy tale feel to the story. 3⭐️

77 likes1 stack add
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Redwritinghood
Good Omens | Gaiman, Neal
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Pickpick

An enjoyable audiobook about the (almost) end of the world. Somewhat dated but still a lot of fun.

PickwickPlockPlock I can't wait for the series! 2w
Redwritinghood @PickwickPlockPlock It should be great fun too. 2w
91 likes2 comments
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Redwritinghood
Naamah | Sarah Blake
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Panpan

This book presents the perspective of Noah‘s wife, Naamah, during the last months on the ark. Naamah has crazy dreams, a surprising amount of sex considering there are only 7 other people still alive in the whole world, and, for some reason, can‘t see any of the animals onboard. There are some feminist themes-vaguely. There is some questioning of religious principles-vaguely. Mostly, it‘s just crazy dream sequences and the book makes no sense. 2⭐️

DivineDiana Thank you for an honest review! 👏🏻 2w
70 likes1 comment
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Redwritinghood
Deaf Republic: Poems | Ilya Kaminsky
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Pickpick

Simply brilliant! This dark fable of a town under siege is a statement on our times. The people of the town become deaf after a soldier shoots a deaf child at a public gathering. The deafness here is purposeful, though, and a statement on how we can remain silent in the face of government atrocities and institutionalized biases. Tragic, yet filled with beauty, this is a powerful book of poetry. 5⭐️

Pricel101 Stacked!! 👏📚 1w
63 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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Redwritinghood
Sugar Run: A Novel | Mesha Maren
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Mehso-so

Jodi is released from prison as the book opens. She returns home, but picks up Miranda and her sons along the way. The story flashes back and forth between the past, where we learn why Jodi killed her former lover, and the present. The past doesn‘t really seem to impact the myriad issues she faces once she‘s released, however, so I‘m not sure what that aspect added to the story. The ending was a bit of a let down, too. 3⭐️ #Hoopla

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Redwritinghood
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Pickpick

Pretty good memoir about growing up as a black man in the south, his experiences with sexual and physical abuse as a child, and his struggles with his weight and a gambling addiction. That‘s a lot to deal with! The tone isn‘t preachy or fragile - a very frank discussion of his experiences, especially his relationship with his mother. 3.5⭐️

JamieArc The audiobook of this was excellent. The author reads it like it‘s poetry, really smooth, rhythmic, and beautiful. 3w
Redwritinghood @JamieArc Unfortunately, my library doesn‘t have the audiobook. I‘ll keep a look out for it, though. 3w
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Redwritinghood
Deaf Republic: Poems | Ilya Kaminsky
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#poemsbeforephones Starting a new poetry collection this morning and right from the first page I‘m impressed. I‘ve heard nothing but rave reviews of this one, so I‘m really looking forward to it. (Sorry for the bad photo. 😕)

DivineDiana Not bad at all! The poem is easy to read! 3w
monalyisha Oh, wow. Yeah. Looking forward to your future posts! 3w
monalyisha Also, just reading the summary, I feel like this would be an interesting selection for a book club. I wasn't planning to do the next round of #LMPBC but maybe I'll see if anyone else would want to do poetry with me. 3w
Redwritinghood @monalyisha Yes, I think it would be a great book club pick. Lots to discuss. 3w
57 likes2 stack adds4 comments
review
Redwritinghood
The Pisces: A Novel | Melissa Broder
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Mehso-so

Lucy is a 38 yo graduate student studying Sappho when she breaks up with her fiancé. To get away, she dog sits for her sister in Venice Beach. She is constantly looking for true love, but doesn‘t really seem to know what it is. While the details of this story are unique, the themes are pretty well worn-finding true love vs lust, loving yourself first, and being comfortable without having a SO. The writing is frank, often crass, but fresh. 3⭐️

readordierachel Agree on all counts. I still love the cover though. 3w
Redwritinghood @readordierachel Yes, it‘s a great cover. 3w
62 likes2 comments
review
Redwritinghood
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Mehso-so

The title of this is a little misleading-the book is not really lost, but a number of its owners over the last ~200 years have had to sell it to make ends meet. Also, before the 1800s, we don‘t really know where it was, so the focus is really only on the more recent history of the book, particularly American oil heiress Estelle Doheny, her quest to obtain a copy of the Gutenberg Bible, among other valuable books, and its final destination (Japan).

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Redwritinghood
A Man Called Ove: A Novel | Fredrik Backman
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Mehso-so

This was ok. Unfortunately, I wasn‘t as charmed by Ove as many readers were. It seemed like it was just the same scenario repeated - Ove is grouchy, he sees someone needing help, Ove reluctantly steps up. Other than the title character, none of the characters had much depth. Glad I finally read it, though, because I‘ve heard so much about it.

merelybookish Agreed! And you did better than me. I couldn't finish it! 4w
Kloves2read Awe! I loved Ove and cried at the end! 3w
80 likes2 comments
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Redwritinghood
Tap Out: Poems | Edgar Kunz
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Pickpick

This was a great poetry collection that mainly explores his childhood and early adult years, more specifically his love and dissatisfaction with his father. While on their surface these poems seem to have a macho aesthetic, underneath they are filled with love and despair for the people and places of his youth. There are some really well-drawn poems about the New England working class and towns that are struggling in the current economy. 4⭐️

62 likes2 stack adds
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Redwritinghood
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Mehso-so

#womensprize2019 Evans does a great job of capturing the discontent that often arises during that period in a couple‘s relationship when they have young children and their careers are starting to pick up. It‘s a challenging time, especially for women who have the added burden of being the ‘perfect‘ mom. Unfortunately, the book is bogged down by some superfluous plot lines and the writing is often of the telling variety and overly wordy. 3⭐️

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Redwritinghood
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Panpan

Did not enjoy this one. The writing was really uninspired and a confusing jumble of issues and events without any coherent story. This book starts when the narrator has been shot during a police raid. She then recounts all the awful things she‘s experienced as a WOC in the south, where the people are apparently uniformly horrible. Things jump around in time and place, and different names are used for the same character. Just confusing. #hoopla

Kalalalatja The cover is pretty, tho 🤷‍♀️ 1mo
readordierachel Oh shoot, I bought this as a kindle deal... 1mo
Redwritinghood @readordierachel I listened on audiobook. Maybe it‘ll be better as an ebook? 🤞🏻🤞🏻 1mo
78 likes1 stack add3 comments
review
Redwritinghood
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Mehso-so

Pretty good story, but I think it would have been better if the focus was on the female WWI spy rather than bringing in the other characters. The post-WWII characters seem thrown in mainly for the romance angle. While Eve was a great character, the others seemed somewhat cliche. Not bad, but I felt the book could have been pared down and more focused. 3⭐️

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Redwritinghood
Tap Out: Poems | Edgar Kunz
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#poemsbeforephones Just started this poetry collection rooted in the places and people of the New England working class. I finished the first section this morning. It primarily dealt with his childhood and relationship with his father. I found this poem says so much in so few lines. And the cover of this collection so perfectly shows the hands that are part of this poem. (Natick is a town in Massachusetts).

mcipher Natick always makes me think of the rest stop there - I‘ve only ever driven through - but this poem definitely captures a particular working-class dad. ❤️ 1mo
52 likes1 comment
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Redwritinghood
Optic Nerve | Maria Gainza
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Pickpick

This is the second book that I finished today that I would call weird and wonderful. The narrator relates episodes from her life through various works of art and the stories of the artists. Wonderful writing about art and life, in general. My only complaint is that I would have liked the parts to be more coherent and fit together more logically. As what might be called experimental fiction, however, this is one of the better examples. #Hoopla 4⭐️

merelybookish Cool! And glad to see it on Hoopla! 1mo
Redwritinghood @merelybookish They have both the ebook and audiobook. 1mo
mklong Sounds great! 1mo
readordierachel Sold! 1mo
73 likes5 stack adds4 comments
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Redwritinghood
Savage Conversations | LeAnne Howe
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Pickpick

Strange, disconcerting, mesmerizing-these are a few words that come to mind after finishing this book. This is written somewhat like a play, but in verse. It is the desperate conversations between Mary Todd Lincoln, following the death of her husband, and the spirit of a hanged Dakota man. It seeks to present another side of history, namely that of the native Americans, through the mind of MTL, who had serious mental health issues. 4.5⭐️

Crazeedi Wow, that sounds really different, she was into seances etc so this would fit right in 1mo
Redwritinghood @Crazeedi I‘ve never read anything like it before. It‘s really good. 1mo
Crazeedi @Redwritinghood I'm going to check it out for sure. Thanks 1mo
67 likes3 comments
blurb
Redwritinghood
Savage Conversations | LeAnne Howe
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Finally getting back to #poemsbeforephones! This one is pretty intense so far. It imagines the conversations between Mary Todd Lincoln and the ghost of one of the 38 Dakota men hanged on Dec 26, 1862 on President Lincoln‘s orders. Another character is the rope used in the hanging. MTL did reportedly claim that she was haunted by nightly visits from a ‘savage indian‘ after Lincoln‘s death. This book seeks to illuminate another side of the story.

DivineDiana Oh my! Sad history unknown to me. 😕 1mo
monalyisha Wow! 1mo
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review
Redwritinghood
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Mehso-so

#womensprize2019 It took me too long to finish this book! My biggest issue is that there are too many characters in the book and most of them were underdeveloped so that they came across as caricature or stereotypes. The story mainly centers around a family that owns a Chinese restaurant that succumbs to fire. Unfortunately, the author tries a little too hard to jazz it up instead of dealing with the intricate family dynamics more deftly. 3⭐️

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Redwritinghood
How to Sit | Tyrese L. Coleman
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Pickpick

This collection of short stories about the author‘s life work together to create a loose memoir. While I did not like the way the stories jumped back and forth between childhood and adult life (I would have rather it be more chronological), there is some pretty stunning prose in this book. Most of the stories deal with her relationship with the women in her family, particularly her mother, grandmother, and a great aunt. 4⭐️

78 likes1 stack add
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Redwritinghood
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Pickpick

Fleeing violence in Peru in the 1990s, Ana and her family live as undocumented migrants in NYC. Every day in her life is a struggle. Financial struggles occupy most of Ana‘s life, but there is also the struggle to come to terms with her mother and father‘s deaths and learn to trust anyone but herself. This is not a feel-good story, but it does highlight the determination and hope of some immigrant families. Great writing/dialogue. 3.5⭐️ #hoopla

TheLibrarian I‘m currently reading this! Although it‘s taking me a little longer because I want to understand the Spanish parts. 1mo
Redwritinghood @TheLibrarian How are you liking it so far? 1mo
TheLibrarian @Redwritinghood So far so good but I‘m only 20% in. 1mo
68 likes3 stack adds3 comments
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Redwritinghood
The Pine Islands | Marion Poschmann
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Panpan

I really did not understand what the author was trying to do with this book. I understand that Gilbert travels to Japan on a whim and decides to follow in the steps of Basho. In Tokyo, he meets a young man following a book on places suitable for suicide. At each spot in their travels, the reality doesn‘t fit the splendor described in the books. No suitable spot for suicide is found. The majesty of Basho‘s Japan no longer exists. Otherwise, 🤷🏻‍♀️

80 likes1 comment
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Redwritinghood
Undying: A Love Story | Michel Faber
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Mehso-so

These are some earnest, heartfelt poems. He clearly loved his wife a lot and misses her. The poems themselves, however, are so-so. I definitely enjoy his novels much more.

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Redwritinghood
Legendary | Stephanie Garber
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Pickpick

This is an entertaining YA fantasy series. I enjoyed this one more than the first. It falls into the typical YA tropes and can be a little predictable, but it‘s a fun palate cleanser after some of my more recent reads.

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review
Redwritinghood
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Mehso-so

I struggled a bit with this book as the characters all felt very flat to me. That, along with the sleepy, detached tone, took away from what was otherwise some lovely writing about the complex relationship between two married couples. Unfortunately, this book felt more like a story of ideas than a story about people. #indiebuddyreads 3⭐️

merelybookish Agreed, characters did not feel real to me. 2mo
BarbaraBB So sad to hear this from both of you. I thought I‘d really like this one. @merelybookish (edited) 2mo
Redheadrambles @Redwritinghood yep I hear you - it did maybe grow on me in the second half as I learnt to let go of actually liking anyone in this ... 2mo
ClairesReads Absolutely understand your feelings Jerrie- much more ideas than people. That‘s usually more palatable when the people are less grating. 1mo
67 likes4 comments
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Redwritinghood
Undying: A Love Story | Michel Faber
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#poemsbeforephones My current poetry read is a collection by the author of one of my all time favorite books, The Crimson Petal and the White. It‘s written about his deceased wife and her battle with multiple myeloma. Sadly, a lot of the poems just aren‘t that good. I did like the above, though, as it highlights how he felt helpless to do anything about her situation. Very sad.

DivineDiana Looks like our current selections have a common thread. The Donald Hall poems are all very moving, but the sadness is such that I am choosing to share only a bit. ❤️ 2mo
BarbaraBB I loved this book which was also about his wife dying. Have you read it? 2mo
Redwritinghood @BarbaraBB Yes, I‘ve read that as well. Very different from Crimson Petal. Good, but I didn‘t like it as much. 2mo
Redwritinghood @DivineDiana Yes, these are sad, but I‘m also not finding a lot that I like enough to share. 2mo
59 likes4 comments
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Redwritinghood
The Lost Man | Jane Harper
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Mehso-so

This book was good but really didn‘t wow me. This is billed as a thriller, but was more of a family drama. My main issue is that there were too many elements seemingly added in for effect rather than being necessary for the story. 3⭐️

Pricel101 I was pumped to read her based on all the reviews but I‘m with you-, just so-so 🙋‍♀️ 2mo
73 likes1 comment
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Redwritinghood
Four Soldiers: A Novel | Hubert Mingarelli
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Pickpick

#manbookerinternational2019 #hoopla This was a short, sweet novel about a small group of soldiers in the Russian Civil War. This isn‘t a war novel, though. It‘s about the friendship between the four young men of the title, how their friendship grows, and how it quickly falls apart in the face of war. The writing is spare and direct to the point of feeling choppy. It is also, unfortunately, spare of details of time and place. Overall 3.5⭐️ #mbi2019

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Redwritinghood
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Pickpick

Squeezing in one more before the end of the month. This was riveting! I had never heard about the Osage ‘Reign of Terror‘ until this book. Grann does a great job of building a story and making history come alive. This is a story of greed and prejudice and hubris in a veritable Wild West. There is also some background of the development of the FBI into a more professional organization, but, to my mind, not enough to warrant the subtitle. 4⭐️ #SABC

Megabooks Great book! 2mo
readordierachel Ok, you just moved this way up on my tbr! 2mo
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Redwritinghood
Mouthful of Birds: Stories | Samanta Schweblin
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Mehso-so

While I liked the taut, evocative writing and the gorgeous cover, the stories themselves often felt empty to me. These stories are absurd and sometimes horrific, but horror and absurdity alone are not enough for me. There are some really great stories here, but not enough to make up for the more so-so ones. 3⭐️ #manbookerinternational2019 #mbi2019

sarahbarnes I just finally read Fever Dream and was interested in this one. Appreciate your review! 2mo
Redwritinghood @sarahbarnes Thanks! I was also so-so on Fever Dream, so if you liked that you may also like this one more than I did. 2mo
80 likes2 comments
blurb
Redwritinghood
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Book of the month is up! These are my picks. What is everyone else getting? #botm

thebluestocking Ooh. These are up super early! I‘m going to go check them out. 2mo
Redwritinghood @thebluestocking It seems that if the last day of the month falls on the weekend, the picks are up the Friday before. 2mo
thebluestocking @Redwritinghood That makes sense! 2mo
70 likes3 comments
review
Redwritinghood
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Pickpick

This is a good to so-so poetry collection. Many of the poems all filled with nostalgia and regret - clearly written by an author approaching her later years in life. I felt the first half of the collection was stronger, but there were many poems that I enjoyed throughout. 3.5⭐️

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Redwritinghood
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Pickpick

Between pick and so-so here. 3⭐️ A good firsthand account of struggling to make ends meet as a single mother without a degree. She worked hard, but the types of jobs she could do often did not pay enough to support her and her daughter. She relates her struggles with the stress and anxiety of barely being able to pay the bills, injuries from hard physical labor, and the stigma of relying on government assistance. Good narration by the author.

goodbyefrancie I'm almost done with this audio, and still not sure how I feel about it. 2mo
hermyknee I felt the same way about this one (between pick and so-so). It almost seemed like the first half had a lot of thought and strong writing and the second half was just like whatevs 🤷🏻‍♀️ 2mo
Redwritinghood @hermyknee Yes, I think you‘re right. She seemed to give up a little towards the end and rushed it a bit. 2mo
99 likes3 comments
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Redwritinghood
Spinning Silver | Naomi Novik
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Pickpick

I got way behind on this #botmbuddyread, but then zoomed right through to the end when I tried to catch up. I liked this much more than ‘Uprooted‘. A wonderful mix of fairytale and Slavic mythology made for an enchanting story. Strong female characters, unlikely heroes, and fantastical adventures made this a really fun book to read. 4⭐️

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻 2mo
83 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Redwritinghood
Music Shop | Rachel Joyce
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Mehso-so

Audiobook narration for this one was great, but the story left me somewhat bored. It‘s meant to be a sweet, cozy love story set in a music shop. The characters were interesting, but the story felt very forced and predictable.

CarolynM That was how I felt about it too 2mo
83 likes1 comment
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Redwritinghood
BOTTLED GOODS. | SOPHIE. VAN LLEWYN
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Pickpick

#womensprize2019 This collection of flash fiction creates a story of oppression in 1970s Romania. Alina is a young wife and teacher. When her brother-in-law defects to France, she and her husband come under close scrutiny of the government. Told through multiple, linked vignettes, together they create a darkly humorous and frightening tale. 3.5⭐️

Reggie Sounds good. 2mo
76 likes3 stack adds1 comment
quote
Redwritinghood
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I haven‘t had time for #poemsbeforephones lately, but finally had a quiet morning today. I loved the above passage - trying to drive with a dog in your arms as a metaphor for life!

DivineDiana I do too! And I want that dog! ❤️ 2mo
wordzie 💝 2mo
50 likes2 comments
review
Redwritinghood
Praise Song for the Butterflies | Bernice L. McFadden
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Mehso-so

#womensprize2019 Longlisted for the Women‘s Prize for Fiction and available on #Hoopla. This book provides what could have been a fascinating look at the archaic practice of ritual slavery in parts of Africa. It follows the story of a young girl, Abeo, whose father gives her to a local priest to atone for the family‘s past sins. Unfortunately, I found the writing very superficial and it seemed to gloss over what should have been major plot points.

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Redwritinghood
Speak No Evil | Uzodinma Iweala
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Mehso-so

The writing was good here, but the structure of the story needed work. The first part dealt with the son of successful immigrants coming to terms with his sexuality. The second part abruptly changed focus to race relations in the US. The stories were related, but the focus was different in each. Either story on its own would have been great, but I didn‘t like the abrupt switch between them. #Hoopla

mklong Couldn‘t agree more Jerrie! 2mo
80 likes1 comment
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Redwritinghood
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Bailedbailed

I wanted to read this because it is set in present day Syria. It relates to three siblings trying to get their father‘s body back to his hometown for burial. Unfortunately, the story is a little too meandering and unfocused for my tastes.

Trashcanman How are you Jerrie? Hugs 2mo
Redwritinghood @Trashcanman Hi, George! How are you? 🤗🤗 2mo
76 likes2 comments
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Redwritinghood
Us Against You | Fredrik Backman
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Pickpick

Backman can be a little sappy at times, but he‘s very good at navigating all the intricacies of small town life, both good and bad. I love the way he tackles issues of gender inequality and lgbt rights without being preachy, too. You are moved by these characters and their situations because they are so relatable.

wordzie Nice reviews! ❤ 2mo
74 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Redwritinghood
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#poemsbeforephones The poems in this collection draw a lot from a regret that life has passed too quickly. This is both depressing and motivating. I‘m hoping to get to a few of those birds before they take flight!

monalyisha Oh, but my darling, what if you fly? 💕🕊 2mo
DivineDiana @monalyisha 👏🏻🦅👏🏻 2mo
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Redwritinghood
Book Love | Debbie Tung
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Pickpick

Very cute book and very relatable for all book lovers out there. Available on #Hoopla.

Riveted_Reader_Melissa I read it last night, so much fun! 2mo
Birdsong28 😍😍😍😍😍📚📖 2mo
Pricel101 Just the sweetest illustrations! 😌 2mo
79 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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Redwritinghood
The Silent Patient | Alex Michaelides
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Mehso-so

This one wasn‘t hard to figure out. I wasn‘t really surprised by the ending. So-so thriller. Also, this is not my favorite genre, so that may influence my review.

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Redwritinghood
Ghost Wall | Sarah Moss
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Pickpick

A creepy story about primitive culture and an abusive father. The story is mainly about how a teen girl deals with her father‘s abuse during a summer camping trip designed to experience Iron Age culture. I may have detected a bit of nationalism here, too, in the father‘s preference for this early British culture. Wonderful writing, but I wished the story hadn‘t been so brief. 3.5⭐️

SharonGoforth I just finished this today, and completely agree that it should have been longer! There was certainly enough material to work with, character/plot-wise. 2mo
batsy I was just thinking about it the other day—would have loved it to be longer, too! 2mo
Redwritinghood @SharonGoforth @batsy It just felt a little unfinished to me. 2mo
70 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Redwritinghood
Thieves in the Afterlife | Kendra DeColo
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Pickpick

Unfortunately, this book of poems is not in the Litsy database, so I‘m putting this review under one of the author‘s other collections. These poems are very grounded in the physical, sexual body and the war between personal acceptance and the desire to be better. Decolo directs an unflinching eye at our raw, gritty, animal-selves along with the struggles and joys of being a body moving through the world. A great, honest poetry collection. 4⭐️

Suet624 Wow. Sounds great. 2mo
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Redwritinghood
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Bailedbailed

I got about halfway through this audiobook, but I‘m just too creeped out by the idea of teen girls being kidnapped and made to be sex slaves for this half man/half bull demon thing. That‘s a little too dark for my tastes, so I‘m quitting this one.

GypsyKat Ugh! Good to know! Removing this from my TBR immediately! 😳 2mo
iread2much Sounds creepy, but sadly realistic 2mo
wordzie Yea thanks for that. 👍 2mo
67 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Redwritinghood
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Mehso-so

This book was charming and funny at times, but it couldn‘t seem to figure out what it was about. A murder mystery? A clash of sexes, culture, generations? Sexual awakening of widowed women? I also had a little trouble believing that these women who weren‘t comfortable even walking into a bar would so willingly jump into writing such graphic erotica. I think I would have liked it better if there had been more of a build up to writing the stories.

AlaMich I liked the first half, and then I couldn‘t figure out where it was going or what else it had to say. You‘re right, it didn‘t know what it wanted to be. 3mo
74 likes1 stack add1 comment