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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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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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"remember the trouble you had giving co-author credit to that Welsh shepherd for your paper on faerie mounds? Your peer reviewers wouldn't let it go to print."

? I'm such an academic - this was the passage that convinced me that the seemingly morally ambiguous Emily was actually a good person at heart and not just motivated by her own ambition.

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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Pickpick

I was immediately sucked into this world of Masks hunting Scholars, and appreciated the lengths Laia wanted to go to in order to save her brother as well as Elias's frustration with the system he was born into. Will be continuing the series if I can find the next book!

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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Pickpick

I love teaching the WWI poem "Dulce Et Decorum Est" this book gets its name from for its masterful use of poetic devices to convey a powerful critique of war, and this novel honors that message deftly. It's remarkable to watch Kyr come to terms with the fact that she has been radicalized, and that the world is nothing like she's been taught.

SaunteringVaguelyDownwards The ending reminds me so much of the Doctor Who series nine finale where Clara gets to travel the universe with Me in their own TARDIS, and I hope both Kyr and Yiso enjoy their travel just as much. 2w
12 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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"The sky lit up with green subreal flashes as a Wisdom cruiser dropped out of shadowspace."

Was craving some sci-fi, and this book is delivering!

#FirstLineFridays
@ShyBookOwl

ShyBookOwl Sounds good! 3w
16 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Valdemar | Mercedes Lackey
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Mehso-so

Somewhat anticlimactic end to the founding trilogy. I do wonder if I was expecting too much from it - clarifying the mystery of how the Companions came to exist is no small feat!

SaunteringVaguelyDownwards I think part of the problem is that the book is too plot-driven; it felt like it knew what points it had to flesh out, given that it is a prequel. Unfortunately, that meant that it relied far too much on the reader knowing why certain characters were significant from their legendary status in the (chronologically) future books, rather than doing the work in this book to make me care about them. 4w
12 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Ruin and Rising | Leigh Bardugo
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Mehso-so

Finished off this trilogy, and while I can't say I predicted all the outcomes, I wasn't surprised at each character's fate, either. Not sure whether I'll continue reading the rest of the series.

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Inkwood Books | Haddonfield, NJ (Bookstore)
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Enjoying my break from school with a little book shopping! Top book is the next selection for our faculty book club, and the bottom one fits perfectly with my week on Afro/Africanfuturism in my World Lit class in the spring semester.

#BookHaul #ShopLocal

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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Started my #HyggeChallenge on Wednesday as a way to relax now that fall semester grades are in. I asked my husband to choose a game that didn't require too much strategy and was amused that he went with this one. (He admitted it needed more strategy than he anticipated after we were done. 😂)

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Siege and Storm | Leigh Bardugo
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Mehso-so

I agree with other Litsy readers that Nikolai is the best part of this book; otherwise, this feels like yet another frustrating YA romantsy, where Alina could have solved most of her problems with Mal by communicating better.

#NoveListReadingChallenge - March
Read a book from the last five years that's been adapted into a movie or TV series.

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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Not a bad reading year! Didn't hit my goal of 100 books, but I'm starting to realize that may not be realistic now I'm no longer involved in the curriculum review project. I'm amused at the discrepancy between the longest and shortest book - that's what comes of teaching children's lit! Will be interesting to see if Pratchett is top next year as I continue the Discworld series.

Tagged book was my favorite of the year for its original concept!

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Shadow and Bone | Leigh Bardugo
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Mehso-so

My #lastfirst of 2023/2024 is the Grishaverse - managed to finish Shadow and Bone and start Siege and Storm. Figured I'd see what the fuss is about as I'm developing a Young Adult Literature class.

I may be burned out on the Chosen One trope, though, so we'll see if I continue.

@BookNAround

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
The Discworld Atlas | Terry Pratchett, The Discworld Emporium
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I may not have met my total book goal, but I did meet my goal to read all the Night Watch books in the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. Will have to figure out which of the Discworld character arcs I want to read next, and maybe join #SeriesLove2024 to help!

#SundayFunday @BookmarkTavern

BookmarkTavern Woohoo! Any goal relating to Discworld is great in my book. I‘d highly recommend the Death novels! 💕 2mo
SaunteringVaguelyDownwards Thanks, @BookmarkTavern! I managed to squeeze in Hogfather at Christmas as well, so the Death stories seem like a natural next step. 2mo
Andrew65 It would be great to have you join #SeriesLove2024 😁 2mo
10 likes3 comments
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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1) full length: Die Hard 😂
TV special: Muppet Family Christmas (Careful of the icy patch!)

2) All I want for Christmas is the best thing to eat and make sure you get the money. 🤣

3) The tagged book is cemented as a winter book in my mind.

#WondrousWednesday @Eggs

PaperbackPirate Die Hard is a Christmas movie! 💪🏻🎄🎅🏼 2mo
Eggs #1 - classics! 2mo
15 likes2 comments
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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I enjoy when an author plays within the fictional world they created, especially when they invite others in to do so to - it's like reading fanfiction, only I don't have to worry about screening for the good stories! Some of these stories fill in the history of the world, such as how Scythe Curie got her reputation or what Scythe Goddard did before he was a scythe. Others are character studies - I appreciated the one narrated by the Thunderhead.

SaunteringVaguelyDownwards You will need to have read the full series to enjoy this book, though, as there are spoilers for plot points in the last novel. 2mo
5 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Snuff | Terry Pratchett
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Pickpick

Sam Vimes proves that he is unable to detach from his work by solving crimes on vacation at his wife's ancestral country house. His growth as a character is really on full display here as he argues for goblins to be considered human.

With this read, I've achieved my goal of reading all the Night Watch Discworld books this year! Prachett fans - which arc should I read next? The wizards? The witches?

#Discworld #ReadingGoals

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Mystery Science Theater 3000 | Joel Hodgson, Harold Buchholz, Matt McGinnis
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Fun to catch it at a perfectly round number!

BookmarkTavern Wahoo! 😆 3mo
dabbe 🤩😍🤗 3mo
13 likes2 comments
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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I wasn't going to do this since it's the end of the semester, but I need grading motivation, so my goal is to spend 20 hours over the next 4 days reading and grading student essays. I'll break it up with fun reading by trying to get to 60% in Snuff by Terry Prachett (at 38% now).

#20in4Readathon @Andrew65

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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1) Jury's still out on a tree because cat, but we'll do some other indoor decorations.
2) The Moravian Star and candles in the windows.
3) I'm all in on the a capella: Straight No Chaser, Pentatonix, and my friends' semi-pro group Keystone A Capella - you haven't heard "Santa Baby" until you've heard it sung by a bass (miss you, Gooch!)

#WondrousWednesday @Eggs

Eggs Sounds delightful!! Thanks for joining in ❄️🎅🎄🎶 3mo
9 likes1 comment
review
SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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Mehso-so

As with many fantasy series, this got bloated - books 4-6 are all basically one story arc. This one feels like a very YA ending; it does wrap up the story and the main characters all get their fairytale ending, but in a very plot-sketchy way. I don't think they are given the space at the end to really process the emotional weight of all the events leading to that point. Overall, Chainani set up more complexity & depth than he was able to fulfill.

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Blessed Are the Cheesemakers | Sarah-Kate Lynch
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1) My parents are excited to host in their new house, so my husband and I are bringing side dishes and staying over to visit the Christmas market on Friday.

2) The tagged book showcases best friends and found families, supporting both family and strangers through hard times, and celebrating good food made well (especially cheese!)

#Two4Tuesday @TheSpineView

SaunteringVaguelyDownwards Though Anxious People would be another good option! 3mo
TheSpineView Thanks for playing! Happy Thanksgiving! 3mo
8 likes2 comments
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Pickpick

Read for our faculty book club! I've seen the praise and critiques from this group, and did agree with most of it, but in the end I did find it an enjoyable read.

SaunteringVaguelyDownwards I have to say, though, that I actually like what the TV series is doing better than the book! Recasting Harriet as an educated black woman fighting for the community and having her call out Elizabeth for her privilege helps expand the feminist message, and seeing how Harriet and her husband negotiate the primacy of their careers mirrors the struggles I imagine Elizabeth and Calvin would have had if he had lived. 3mo
9 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Bookshops & Bonedust | Travis Baldree
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Pickpick

The first book in the series was like meeting my husband, with his love for the smells and tastes and rituals of making coffee. This one was like me, with my love of all things bookshop and readerly - especially the sharing of a great read. I binged this on a rainy Saturday morning instead of grading, and it was time well spent.

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Starter Villain | John Scalzi
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Mehso-so

A fun but fluffy work by Scalzi - I found I didn't care as much about the protagonist as I did in several of his other books. Pictured with my own "management", Watney.

dabbe Hello there sweet kitty gazing out at the beautiful view! 🖤🐾🖤 4mo
12 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
The Phantom Tollbooth | Norton Juster
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1) Yes! I think I have built and read in blanket forts with my siblings as a child, with my cousin's as a teen, and with my now-husband at college over the summer semester when I had the apartment to myself.

2) the tagged book is so vividly a child memory for me, and same for my husband. We discovered over the pandemic that it was the perfect book to read aloud to cure our anxiety-induced insomnia.

#TwoForTuesday @TheSpineView

TheSpineView Thanks for playing! 4mo
11 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Trick Or Treat! | Ann Braybrooks
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My cat Watney is patiently waiting for trick-or-treaters! I've seen a bunch of groups out in the neighborhood - we have an elementary school and a house that puts on an elaborate display - but not many have come to the door. I wonder if our outside lights aren't bright enough?

#CatsOfLitsy

dabbe Hello there, adorable Watney! 🖤🐾🖤 4mo
10 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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Mehso-so

As often happens with long fantasy series, the story is starting to sprawl, meaning that this book doesn't end up resolving any of the storylines. Even the trope of exploding dichotomies is starting to wear thin - this book tries to complicate Past and Present and doesn't really succeed. I'll still probably continue to read the series to see it out to the end.

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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Late because the Litsy app would not cooperate and let me add images last night! As an English professor, here are three of my favorite words to say out loud:
* onomatopoeia
* abecedarian
* soliloquy

Any other #TeachersOfLitsy want to chime in?

#TLT @dabbe

dabbe #2 is FUN to say out loud! 🤩🤩🤩 4mo
8 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Wool (Wool, #1) | Hugh Howey
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Mehso-so

I admittedly picked this up out of mild curiosity to see if I should check out the TV show, and verdict is still out. The characters are interesting, as is the premise, but I'm not sure I'm looking for the grim mood such post-apocalyptic works sink into - especially since the second book in the series is the prequel.

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Happy Litsyversary! | Special Events
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7 years already? Time flies when you're having fun!

Desha Congratulations 🎉🎊! 4mo
Amiable Happy Litsyversary! 4mo
GondorGirl Happy litsy-versary! 4mo
tpixie 🎉🎉🎉 4mo
14 likes4 comments
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Thud! | Terry Pratchett
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Pickpick

Another Night Watch installment that could be summed up as Sam Vimes seeing the world conspiring to keep him from getting home on time to read the picture book Where's My Cow? to his young son. My favorite moment was Death having a "near-Vimes experience." ?

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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Mehso-so

Holy cliffhangers, Batman! This instalment of the series explores what happens after the traditional end of a fairy tale, showing that happily ever afters are hard to get. Tedros and Agatha learn that there's more to being king and queen than just titling yourself as such, especially when a new foe calling himself the Snake arises. The binary between Truth and Lies is deconstructed.

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards

"Except relationships aren't just about love, Agatha realized. Relationships are about taking off the mask you wear to make someone like you and letting them see the real you. The one you hid all along. The one you never thought was good enough to find love in the first place."

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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Pickpick

Whew, finished my goals just in time for #SummerEndReadathon!

Library holds:
✅ When The Angels Left the Old Country
✅ Gryphon in Light

Watch Discworld book:
✅ Night Watch

And the bonus book The Last Ever After!

Thanks for a fun challenge @TheSpineView!

TheSpineView You're welcome and thanks for participating! 5mo
11 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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"In the back corner of a little synagogue in the shtetl that was so small and out of the way that it was only called Shtetl, there was a table where an angel and a demon had been studying Talmud together for some two hundred years."

*gestures to username* Couldn't resist this book based on reviews comparing it to Good Omens, and am loving this pairing so far!

#FirstLineFridays
@ShyBookOwl

SaunteringVaguelyDownwards Last book for #SummerEndReadathon - I'm two-thirds of the way through! @TheSpineView 5mo
12 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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Mehso-so

A bonus read for #SummerEndReadathon while waiting for my final hold to come in! In this installment, the now young School Master tries to convince Sophie to be his evil queen, and Agatha and Tedros have to persuade her to leave his spell. The binary between New and Old is explored; and I'm increasingly convinced that the series will end by exploding the binary altogether.

@TheSpineView

TheSpineView Well done! 5mo
13 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Night Watch | Terence David John Pratchett
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Pickpick

Realized I never posted my review of this for #SummerEndReadathon! In this Discworld installment, Sam Vimes gets "timenapped" and sent into a pivotal event from his past. You can see how these memories shaped Sam's moral code (which doesn't always match the legal code!) and personality, and understand why he needs that reminder right as he's becoming a father.

Shameless picture of Watney in his comfy spot!

@TheSpineView
#CatsOfLitsy

Soubhiville 🐱🩵 Watney is very handsome. 5mo
TheSpineView Sweet face!❤️ 5mo
RaeLovesToRead Watney sure knows how to pose! 🥰🥰💕 5mo
dabbe Watney, that's a #photocontestwinner! 🖤🐾🖤 5mo
14 likes4 comments
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
The Phantom Tollbooth | Norton Juster
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Love this result from the Literature Clock link @Bklover posted, and the book it comes from!

Bklover I‘m so glad I‘m not the only one that loves that thing. I remember reading The Phantom Tollbooth and loving it. ❤️❤️ 5mo
SaunteringVaguelyDownwards Same, as does my husband - he's a lover of puns, so how could he not? 5mo
13 likes1 stack add2 comments
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Gryphon in Light | Mercedes Lackey, Larry Dixon
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Mehso-so

The Valdemar series is a favorite of mine stemming from high school, and I try to keep up with the new installments, even if I don't think they quite capture the spark of Lackey's earlier work. I do think it's a bit fascinating how Lackey is exploring alternately between the early and most recent history of Valdemar in her most recent books.

2 down for #SummerEndReadathon!
@TheSpineView

TheSpineView Awesome! 5mo
11 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Night Watch | Terence David John Pratchett
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"Sam Vimes sighed when he heard the scream, but he finished shaving before he did anything about it."

Innocuous beginning before Sam goes across the multiverse!

#FirstLineFridays @ShyBookOwl

#SummerEndReadathon @TheSpineView

SaunteringVaguelyDownwards Also kind of amused at the book tag's insistence on Terry Prachett's full name! 6mo
TheSpineView Great opening line! 6mo
13 likes2 comments
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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Pickpick

Finished off this book while waiting for my library holds to come in. Chainani continues the dissection of fairy tales in this series: good and evil in the first book, and now the gender expectations for boy and girl. Tensions between friendships and burgeoning romantic interests are also explored.

#SummerEndReadathon
@TheSpineView

TheSpineView Fantastic! 6mo
12 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Readathon: Occasional List : Geleentheidslys | Gauteng (South Africa). Education Media Service
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I'm probably asking for trouble for doing this at the start of the semester, but I need something to look forward to that breaks up the reading prep for class!

Goals:
-complete library holds coming in the next 2 weeks: Gryphon in Light by Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon & When the Angels Left the Old Country by Sacha Lamb
-next Discworld Night Watch book: The Night Watch by Terry Pratchett

#SummerEndReadathon
@TheSpineView

TheSpineView Sounds like a good plan! Good luck! 6mo
8 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
There Will Be Lies | Nick Lake
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Mehso-so

Well, this book went places I wasn't expecting! Shelby just thinks her mother is a little overprotective, but when Shelby is hit by a car outside the library, it launches a series of events that changes her life forever. Oh, and Coyote shows up to show her how to walk into the Dreaming and tells her she has to save the world. No pressure!

#ReadySetRead2023 - a book with "lies" in the title

SaunteringVaguelyDownwards There were some things that really cemented this book as YA, such as the fact that Shelby is deaf being presented as a huge reveal a few chapters in, when I thought it was presented so obviously through details like italics for speech and watching TV with closed captions that I actually skimmed back through the opening chapters thinking I had missed that part of the character description. 6mo
10 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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I thought my cat Watney had followed my husband upstairs - then turned and found him apparently reading over the shoulder of the cat on my couch pillow! 😂

#CatsOfLitsy

Amiable That‘s a fantastic photo! 😄 6mo
Leftcoastzen Great photo!😻 6mo
25 likes2 comments
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Matilda / Matilda | Roald Dahl
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1) My semester starts the day after Labor Day, which is nice for the large number of our students working the tourist season - but it means the last day of exam week is 12/23! End of semester grading will get rough with Christmas prep.

2) Matilda by Roald Dahl is my favorite children's book, and school turns out to be a blessing and a curse for her.

Tagging any other teachers/professors!

#Two4Tuesday
@TheSpineView

TheSpineView Happy Tuesday and thanks for playing! 7mo
9 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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Pickpick

The Funny Farm is a local attraction, so our faculty book club read this memoir/animal tale/mission statement and visited. Laurie writes just as she speaks, and is so inviting and enthusiastic that it's impossible not to enjoy the experience. The book itself is vivid and engaging, balancing the trauma of domestic abuse and poverty with the deep love for nature and strength of will Laurie inherited from her mother.

SaunteringVaguelyDownwards Top left picture features Adele, the diva chicken, and Tucker, a megaesophagus dog who needs to sit in that specially constructed Bailey chair in order to swallow food; top right is Laurie and 6 of the 11 dogs who live in her house; and bottom right is Ellie the emu. 8mo
12 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Manu: A Graphic Novel | Kelly Fernndez
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Pickpick

Cute middle-grade graphic novel depicting the shenanigans Manu gets into at her school for magic in the Dominican Republic. Nice demonstration of how Catholic religious beliefs co-exist with belief in witchcraft and demons. I also appreciate the twist on the chosen one trope that keeps this from feeling too much like Harry Potter.

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
The Emerald Circus | Jane Yolen
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Pickpick

A fun tour of Yolen's short stories about classic fictional characters, from Robin Hood to Lancelot to Dorothy from Oz and Alice in Wonderland. My favorite was "Lost Girls," where the newest "Wendy" Peter Pan takes to Neverland leads all the girls in a strike for equality. Loved the process notes and poems at the end of the book too!

Including a pic of my reading buddy Watney finding the nearest sunbeam.

#CatsOfLitsy #FeministFairyTales

SaunteringVaguelyDownwards #ReadySetRead2023: anthology or short story collection 9mo
RaeLovesToRead Aww, Watney 🥰🥰 9mo
dabbe Hello, Wonderful Watney! 🩵🐾🤍 9mo
14 likes4 comments
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
The Emerald Circus | Jane Yolen
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#20in4 #Readathon results!

-Almost 12 hours of reading
-3 books finished
-Looking forward to finishing the tagged book

Thanks, @Andrew65, for a fun challenge!

SaunteringVaguelyDownwards That's actually 4 books finished - I forgot about 9mo
13 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards

Litsy is glitching so I can't post my #20in4 time screenshot, but I'm at 3 hrs 41 min for the end of day 2. I may not make my time goal, but I did finish In the Lives of Puppets and am onto my second book! (tagged)

@Andrew65

Andrew65 Well done on what you have read so far. More important to have fun doing that than meeting any goals. 👏👏👏 9mo
11 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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Pickpick

I thought this was an interesting book to be reading amongst all the current angst in my profession about the impact of generative AI (like Chat GPT). I agree with some of the other Littens who think this book doesn't quite have the same charm as Cerulean Sea or Whispering Door, but it almost makes sense to me given the mechanical nature of the characters. Loved the vivid characters, especially the Nurse Ratched/Rambo duo.