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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards

SaunteringVaguelyDownwards

Joined October 2016

PhD in English - now with a full-time community college faculty position!
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Beyond by Mercedes Lackey
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Victories Greater Than Death by Charlie Jane Anders
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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Pickpick

Fantastic reflections on death and not taking any part of your life for granted. Klune has a specific style that makes his stories memorable without being repetitive.

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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I see what you did here, T.J. Klune. 😉

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Happy Litsyversary! | Special Events
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Has it been five years already? My, how time flies!

Many thanks to @silentrequiem who introduced me to Litsy, and happy reading to us all for many years to come!

Amiable Happy Litsyversary! 1mo
EatSleepRead Thank you! 1mo
10 likes2 comments
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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Mehso-so

Well, this has all the same tropes as the rest of the series, but other than the actual building of the bridge, it doesn't feel particularly distinctive. Still an enjoyable read.

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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My grandmother introduced me to the Pillars of the Earth series before she died - it was one of her book club selections - and I loved them! Unfortunately, the two most recent books in the series came out while I was working on my PhD and I didn't have time, so now I'm planning a chronological read-through of the whole series!

RachelAmphlett I still have to catch up with this particular one! 2mo
SaunteringVaguelyDownwards In terms of bookish intersections, I'm loving all the name drops of Ethelred and Ethelfled, whom I learned about from The Last Kingdom series by Bernard Cornwell. 2mo
13 likes1 stack add2 comments
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Elatsoe | Darcie Little Badger
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Pickpick

I liked this alternate America where the supernatural and natural worlds blend, including Indigenous spirituality and customs. Elatsoe is a great teen protagonist, excited to figure out her powers to raise the dead and at the same time blind to how much danger she could actually be in. The values of family and friendship run strong, and I look forward to reading more by this author.

#PopSugar Reading Challenge 2021: a book by an Indigenous author

SaunteringVaguelyDownwards I really loved the illustrations by Rovina Cai in each chapter as well, and would love to see how they look in a print book vs the ebook. 3mo
6 likes1 stack add1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Project Hail Mary | Andy Weir
Pickpick

Weir picked a specific narrative trope that really drove the book, and while I understand why he did it based on events in the plot, I'm still not sure it was the best way to tell the story. Another snarky smart protagonist might make people say Weir is a one-trick pony, but I think he is trying to do something distinct with each book, and they do make for compelling reads.

SaunteringVaguelyDownwards #PopSugar Reading Challenge 2021: a book about forgetting 3mo
5 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Mehso-so

Pierce mentions in the afternote that she decided the continuation of the Circle series should focus on the main characters taking the next step in their magical education - the point where they pick up students of their own. Thus, you really need to have read and remembered the original series to understand the characterizations and why Sandry feels such imposter syndrome in becoming the instructor.

#PopSugar 2021: a locked room mystery

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Shoeless Joe | W. P. Kinsella
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Decided to take advantage of our cross-country move to visit the Field of Dreams! Kinsella is one of my husband's favorite authors, and he really enjoyed the trip.

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Moving | Jenny Eclair
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The library is packed for its cross-country trip! (Yup, 90% of that wall of boxes is books.)

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Ace of Spades | Faridah Abike-Iyimide
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Pickpick

It feels like the author tailor wrote this to fit both the “dark academia“ & “book that has a heart, diamond, club, or spade on the cover“ #PopSugar Reading Challenge prompts! Devon and Chiamaka usually don't have to think too much about being the only Black students at a ritzy private school, until a campaign of targeted harassment towards them starts. The cover blurbs compared this to the movie Get Out, and I found it equally unsettling.

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
All Clear | Connie Willis
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Pickpick

Fascinating to see how the question of the time travel “slippage“ gets resolved, although it locks the time travel into a particular trope that I'm not always fond of. The characters were well realized, and you can understand their motivations even when they make decisions you think are unwise.

Spoiler-y question for other readers in the comment below!

SaunteringVaguelyDownwards Granted, I was finishing this book in the early morning hours while fighting insomnia, but was the ending trying to suggest that Eileen/Merope and the vicar had kids who became the ancestors of Colin and/or Polly? There was the repetition of Eileen's line “we'll always be close“, and I was just kind of confused as to what Polly's big realization was. 4mo
6 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Untitled | Unknown
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1) I start the year with a Goodreads challenge to read 100 books (and adjust as needed), and this year I'm right on pace at 59 completed.
2) To get my summer class grades done early so I can pack and move cross-country for my new full-time faculty position!
3) I am grateful to live in the arts district and pass great art like this new mural on my morning walk!

#WondrousWednesday @Eggs

Eggs Lovely! Congratulations on new position! Thanks for joining in 🙌🏻📚 4mo
BeaG Beautiful art 4mo
6 likes2 comments
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Making a Barrel | John Boakes
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Check out this awesome community library that just popped up in my neighborhood! I am really going to miss living in the arts district when we move.

Nute That is definitely one of the coolest Little Free Libraries that I have ever seen!🤩 3mo
11 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Armada: A Novel | Ernest Cline
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Panpan

Catching up on beach reading reviews! Honestly, this book felt like Mary-Sue fan fiction. After all, it's the ultimate wish fulfillment - protagonist Zack finds out that his favorite video game is real, and his gaming skills are needed to defend the earth! Basically, the reliance on 80s and sci-fi tropes that worked so well in Ready Player One just feel like clichès here, and it feels like Cline can only write one kind of protagonist.

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Tell Me How This Ends Well | David Samuel Levinson
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Mehso-so

Picked this up as a freebie from a conference and it sat so long on my bookshelf that I totally forgot the tag line: “Why is tonight different from all other nights? Tonight we kill dad.“ The Jacobson siblings believe that killing their overbearing father Julian will give their mother peace following her terminal cancer diagnosis. A good example of a book where none of the characters are particularly likable.

SaunteringVaguelyDownwards It's set in a near-future (2022!) backdrop of increasing anti-Semitism in the US as Israel has been obliterated and parceled out to the countries of Iran, Syria, and Lebanon, and this fear is woven through the interpersonal struggles of the Jacobson siblings. I thought that the first segment was trying too hard in its vocabulary/style, and then realized that Levinson was using that style to demonstrate playwright Jacob's thought patterns. 4mo
8 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Matilda / Matilda | Roald Dahl
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1) I remember watching the news coverage of the Columbine High School shooting when I was in high school myself. Little did I know this would be an incident I would train for as an educator now.
2) Library! I don't think I've been in a bookstore since before COVID.
3) Tagged- I loved that Matilda loved books for their transportive properties the way I love them!

#WondrousWednesday @Eggs

Eggs Sad memory 😓 4mo
Charityann I completely forgot about that - that was impactful and I was also in high school when it happened. I chose 9-11, but was in my first year of college then. 4mo
SaunteringVaguelyDownwards @Charityann Also in college during 9/11, and thought my professors and campus handled it very well. Those thoughts were running through my mind as we started our spring semester this year the day after the insurrection, and hoping I could serve as the same figure of calm and reassurance as my professors were for me during 9/11. 4mo
16 likes3 comments
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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Sorry for the blurry resolution, but I was intrigued by #5!

“23 Emotions People Feel, But Can't Explain

5. Vellichor: The strange wistfulness of used bookshops.“

I'm not sure this is an emotion I've consciously experienced in used bookstores, but perhaps unconsciously?

What do you all think?

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Upright Women Wanted | Sarah Gailey
Pickpick

I agree with the other posters who thought this should have been a full novel instead of a novella. The characterizations are developed well for the brief length, I just wanted a little more material between the main plot points. Interesting worldbuilding in thinking through subversive social networks!

mariaku21 I'm so far like 25% in and really enjoying this one. I can't believe how short it is! 5mo
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Raybearer | Jordan Ifueko
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Pickpick

This YA book is a fantasy incorporating West African traditions, and doing a great bit of world-building on top. Tarisai's mother raises her to kill the crown prince as revenge on the king, but first Tarisai must love and respect him to be part of his inner circle. She and her friends tackle systemic issues of racism and sexism, just wanting to make their homeland better. Gorgeous cover, too!

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Raybearer | Jordan Ifueko
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"Why does everyone hate change so much?" I demanded.
"Because things could get worse."
"Maybe. But do you know what I think? ... I think that deep down, we're afraid that things could get better. Afraid to find out that all the evil - all the suffering we ignore - could have been prevented. If only we had cared enough to try."
- Jordan Ifeuko, Raybearer

#change

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Mehso-so

I enjoyed the continued worldbuilding of Exodans, but this one felt way less cohesive than the others in the series.

Yay for archivists, though!

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Summer Reading | Hilma Wolitzer
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Anyone participating in a library summer reading challenge?
I love that my library has teamed up with the county Open Spaces program to promote both reading and outdoor activity - you can earn points both for reading and for other activities, like walking in a park or looking for constellations. They've also added a community incentive; for every million points the community completes, the library will donate a sum to a food bank!

#library

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Pickpick

I can't remember who on Litsy was raving about this book (as an example of your newly found love for queer space novels?), but THANK YOU for putting it on my radar! I can't remember the last time a series has completely sucked me in in the forget-you-have-a-body-want-to-read-all-the-time way, and it's a state of mind my burned-out self sorely needs.

peanutnine Someone just recommended this to me last week! It's on my holds list at the library. So glad you enjoyed it ☺️ 6mo
11 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Untitled | Unknown
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Borrowed from my sister-in-law's Facebook post and using as leverage when I'm ready to get a cat again. This guy looks just like my late Captain Jack!

#CatsOfLitsy

Leftcoastzen Awww ! I definitely need books and Cats .Hope you find a sweet kitty when the timing is right for you .😺 6mo
14 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
The Johns Hopkins Guide to Digital Media | Lori Emerson, Marie-Laure Ryan, Benjamin J. Robertson
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The top shelf is all my academic/dissertation reading, so I was shocked to find the tagged book in the database. It's also my excuse for having the awful Endgame trilogy - it was research!

#ShelfieCorner
@Kenyazero

Kenyazero I love having fun books as part of research! It's the perfect excuse to read them. 7mo
10 likes1 comment
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Show Me a Sign | Ann Clare LeZotte
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I ran out to the library an hour before it closed for lockdown to grab a book for my dissertation, and spotted Show Me a Sign on the new children's book shelf and had to pick it up. It remains one of the most layered children's books I've read: an #OwnVoices Deaf author writing a Deaf protagonist about the historically mostly deaf population on Martha's Vineyard during the colonial period. ⬇️
#LockdownFaves
@ShyBookOwl

SaunteringVaguelyDownwards Ableism is explored through the attitude of a researcher who visits the village, as is race and colonialism, as the European settlers disagree with the Wampanoag natives about land rights and demean the former Black slave working for Mary's family. 8mo
ShyBookOwl Wow. Sounds incredible 8mo
12 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Root Magic | Eden Royce
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1) Just finished Root Magic, which was amazing. Made an excellent way to pass the waiting time after getting my second vaccine shot!
2) I have a pretty even mix of both on my shelves.
3) Clean Getaway by Nic Stone

#WeekendReads
@rachelsbrittain

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Posting late but needed to share the library love!
1) Pre-COVID, I spent 4/5 mornings at my public library working on my dissertation. I could often book a study room, but when I couldn't, the librarians would come let me know if one opened up that I could use. I left them periodic progress updates on the whiteboard walls, and they got photographed and shared on the library system intranet!
⬇️

@TheSpineView #Two4Tuesday

SaunteringVaguelyDownwards 2) Sometimes I'd ask for help on the inter-library loan system they have with the academic libraries, or for scanning/printing help. They were so supportive, and thrilled to hear I had passed my defense when I started curbside pickup! 10mo
TheSpineView Libraries and librarians are the best! Thanks for playing and sharing the love!😍📚 10mo
8 likes2 comments
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Lifeboat 12 | Susan Hood
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Pickpick

Read for Children's Lit. Compelling middle-grade novel based on real events. Due to the London Blitz, Ken's parents send him to Canada. Unfortunately, the ship transporting him is hit by a torpedo, and Ken spends 13 days in a lifeboat before being rescued. I appreciated Hood's meticulous research, especially to learn the names of the Lascar crew members.

#pop21: a genre hybrid - don't think I've read any nonfiction novels in verse before!

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Nightbooks | J. A. White
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Pickpick

Read for Children's Lit class. A nice mashup of Hansel and Gretel and the Scheherazade trope from 1001 Arabian nights. Alex hates that his love for writing horror stories makes him different and creepy in his schoolmates' eyes. However, when he gets trapped in a witch's apartment, his stories might just save him and fellow victim Yasmin.

Can I say I love the cover illustration, even if I personally wouldn't love a library full of horror books?

silentrequiem Oooh, that looks good! 10mo
13 likes1 stack add1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Battle Ground | Jim Butcher
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Mehso-so

Butcher is falling into the trap of each book having Harry face a bigger, stronger enemy, and this book shows it's starting to get too big. Lots of characters to keep track of and nonstop action blunt the emotional impact of what's happening. It's also been a while since I read Peace Talks, and you need to recollect those details for the ending to make sense.

#pop21: a book set mostly or entirely outdoors

Traci1 I read that this one and Peace Talks were written as one large book, but the publisher chose to split it in half. I'm sure they made more money that way, but I think it made both books not as good as they'd have been as one. 10mo
SaunteringVaguelyDownwards @Traci1 I definitely got the impression that the two books were two halves of the same story! 10mo
5 likes2 comments
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The Art of Theft | Sherry Thomas
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"But fundamentally, this is about the imbalance of power between the sexes....
Certainly it's admirable for any given woman to learn to appreciate her own worth.... But it cannot be enough for those who are treated as lesser to feel better about themselves. That they are treated as lesser is an injustice. And that injustice itself must be rooted out and eradicated."

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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1. My dad really fostered my love of reading, introducing me to classic sci-fi & fantasy. The best compliment my husband ever gave me is that I rekindled his love of reading for fun! 🥰

2. We do! Tagged book is last one my husband and I discussed.

#Two4Tuesday @TheSpineView

TheSpineView Thanks for playing! 11mo
10 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Hench | Natalie Zina Walschots
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Pickpick

If you enjoyed the critique of collateral damage caused by superheroes in The Incredibles, then you'll enjoy this book. Anna is a temp doing data entry for a villain when she's pulled into his sinister broadcast as an extra; when she's injured by the hero who intervenes, she's promptly laid off. Thus begins her quest to quantify the damage a hero causes in her Injury Report, and perhaps a depth of vengeance she didn't know she possessed...

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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Beat my reading goal by 25 books! Several factors inflated my reading this year: 1) I counted books read for my curriculum review project. 2) I participate alongside my Children's Lit students in the independent reading project. 3) Pandemic meant lots of reading to deal with the anxiety and the time at home, especially lots of rereading that might not have even made it to Goodreads/Litsy.

Here's to 2021 and a new year of reading!

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Books I've Read: A Bibliophile's Journal | Deborah Needleman, Virginia Johnson
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- Tons of rereading! Read somewhere that rereading familiar material is an anxiety impulse, so that makes sense.
- Just started the Lady Sherlock series on a friend's recommendation.
- Several for my dissertation! (It's DONE! 🎉)
- Read The Cat of Bubastes (1889) and several other classics for curriculum review project.
- The House by the Cerulean Sea made me cry over its sweetness and hopefulness!

#ThisYearIHave @OrangeMooseReads

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Cemetery Boys | Aiden Thomas
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1) I was hoping that my hold on Cemetery Boys would come through before the end of the year so I can finish my last book for the 2020 #PopSugar Reading Challenge (book by a trans/non-binary author), but I'll just have to cheat and do it in January!

2) I regret spending time doomscrolling that I could have spent reading good books! Very thankful for Libby and my public library staff doing curbside service.

#TwoForTuesday @TheSpineView

TheSpineView Thanks for playing! 🤩 11mo
5 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Clap When You Land | Elizabeth Acevedo
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Christmas book haul, adding some excellent YA to my shelves. Ironically, my library hold on Clap When You Land just came in and it's too late for me to cancel it! (Oh well, at least I can improve the circulation stats.)

britt_brooke Beautiful stack! I haven‘t read With the Fire on High (yet), but loved the others. (edited) 11mo
mariaku21 Haven't read Clap When You Land (yet) but I have enjoyed and loved all of Acevedo's other books so I hope you get time to enjoy them 11mo
12 likes2 comments
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
A Study In Scarlet Women | Sherry Thomas
Pickpick

Recommended by a friend for those who liked the Laurie R. King Sherlock series. I'm finding this one a little less compelling, although I appreciate Charlotte's scheme to remove herself from the Victorian gender constraints and the gender-bending of Watson as a former theater performer. I think the romance elements feel clunky-we don't really have a compelling reason why Charlotte is drawn to Ingram-but will still keep reading the series.

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1) See tagged book.
2) An Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie - my coursework copy & my teaching copy
3) "The landlady was nearly simpering--and at the outset she had not looked at all like the simpering sort."

#WeekendReads @rachelsbrittain

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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Pickpick

A lyrical stand-alone fantasy based on Japanese mythology. I thought the rift between the yokai and the humans was believable; the only thing I didn't like was how quickly Taro changed his feelings about the yokai, given how deep-rooted his shame at creating the collars used to imprison them was. I will certainly be looking into Jean's other work.

#PopSugar Reading Challenge 2020: a book set in Japan, host of the (intended) 2020 Olympics

Just_reading Reading this now and loving it, too! 10mo
6 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Release | Patrick Ness
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Mehso-so

I love Patrick Ness and his ability to twine the realistic and the fantastic, but it just didn't work for me in this book. The fact that all these earth-shattering things were happening to Adam on this particular day pushes the realistic parts towards melodrama, and I wanted more backstory on the Queen and the truce than this narrative could give.

#PopSugar Reading Challenge: a book with an upside-down image on the cover

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Spontaneous | Aaron Starmer
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"When Katelyn Ogden blew up in third period pre-calc, the janitor probably figured he'd only have to scrub guts off one whiteboard this year."

This YA novel about a school stricken by a series of spontaneous human combustions is certainly vying for weirdest book I've read this year!

#FirstLineFridays
@ShyBookOwl

Sace Oh my what a strange concept! 1y
9 likes1 comment
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Unwind (Reprint) | Neal Shusterman
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"In her six months working in the emergency room, the young doctor has seen enough strange things to fill her own medical school textbook, but this is the first time someone has crash-landed a helicopter in the hospital parking lot."

? What a way to start a chapter!

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Bingo Palace | Louise Erdrich
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Final bingo board for #SummerFun!

The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin covered On TBR over 6 months
That Summer by Sarah Dessen knocked off both "Summer" in title and Summer romance or wedding, getting me another bingo!

Brings me to a total of 29 entries if I'm adding right.

Thanks for the fun, @4thhouseontheleft & @StayCurious !

StayCurious Wow you did great! 1y
8 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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Pickpick

Finally, a Bingo for #SummerFun! My cousin and I built a couch fort to read in on our vacation; unfortunately I didn't get a picture!

If I'm mathing correctly, that puts me at 21 entries to this point.

@4thhouseontheleft @StayCurious

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
The Hike | Drew Magary
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Noticed I forgot to record this in #SummerFun in my review post!

@4thhouseontheleft @StayCurious

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Jane, Unlimited | Kristin Cashore
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Pickpick

Jane promised her aunt before her death never to turn down an invitation to Tu Reviens, her friend Kiran's island mansion. But she is not prepared for the secrets she will uncover there. Cashore experiments with form here, setting up a narrative with a crucial decision point and spinning off five endings in different genres (realistic fic, spy thriller, horror, sci-fi, and fantasy).

#SummerFun @4thhouseontheleft @StayCurious

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
The Hike | Drew Magary
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Pickpick

#ReadingNow: Nothing like reading a surreal adventure involving a character who is a giant crab at the beach. Fantastic ending!

#SummerFun @StayCurious