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Sydneypaige
Once There Were Wolves | Charlotte McConaghy
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A mystery hidden within a story of rewilding the Scottish highlands with wolves. Major trigger warnings throughout, please check those. It is definitely not a fast paced book nor is it a mystery that ventures into typical horror. It‘s a slow burn unraveling. Felt like a nice transition into fall reads book 🐺🍂

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Sydneypaige
Jonny Appleseed | Joshua Whitehead
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This reads like a memoir and is a deep engrossing exploration about relationships - romantic and familial- and queerness and indigeneity, including fetishization. I love reading about sex work without commentary on it, as in its just how Jonny gets money to go back to the rez in this world. It‘s not told in chronological order, the stories weave in and out of each other.

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Sydneypaige
White Magic | Elissa Washuta
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This book is overwhelming about a man named Carl and that‘s not what I intended to read about. I can understand his significance to the author and how he may represent lessons she works through but it didn‘t work. Much of this is reflective and not critical, and I think my expectations based on the title were off. I was hoping for a critique rather than a memoir - which is definitely a reader error.

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Sydneypaige
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I found this to be a really a heavy memoir to listen to via audiobook. I think my expectations for “distance” on these topics (as in outside of a personal story) did me a disservice. However, it‘s an important book and I‘m really glad I read it. It covers many different topics from white supremacy to tarot to eco anxiety to female friendships to grief to IBS. It‘s an honor to witness this story and healing and education.

3 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
Honey and Spice | Bolu Babalola
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Now this book is fun! The chemistry between the main characters is great and though typically fake dating isn‘t my favorite romance trope, I enjoyed how it was done in this book! I also thought the female friendship through line was an asset to this book. Great nearing end of summer read 🌞🕶

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Sydneypaige
Disorientation | Elaine Hsieh Chou
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One of my favorite satires I‘ve read in a few years. I love when you clearly know it‘s satire and you‘re not left wondering if the character just really doesn‘t get it. The PhD setting was interesting as it allowed the book to explore an intersection of systems. I do think the book could be slightly shorter, but overall, a really thought provoking book with a character who can be endearing even if she‘s the satire setting.

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Sydneypaige
Big Sur | Jack Kerouac
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I was in Big Sur about this time last year and saved this for a nostalgia read in hopes of a love letter to a place I love. And how disappointed was I. This book is barely an ode to such a stunning landscape and part of the world. It is about a drunk sad lonely man unsure and unhappy with fame. Racism and misogyny abound through its pages and the lyrical lines and descriptions do not outweigh the worse parts of the book.

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Sydneypaige
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This book is an exploration of and meditation on an activist‘s life as he navigates being Black in the US. It wrestles with religion, found family, friendship, identity as an activist, and finding one‘s own voice and place in creating a liberated world. Any and all work offered to the world to help find a way forward into a better world has so much value.

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Sydneypaige
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This book will do many preteens and teenagers right. It‘s the kind of explicit messaging around consent, sex, church guilt, parental pressure, and self confidence that is needed to shift cultural messaging and understandings in young people. It also adds to the growing amount of published books with Black main characters that doesn‘t center racial trauma or racism; it lets a Black teen just be and wrestle with coming of age themes.

kera_11 ooo I‘ve been looking for more books that don‘t center around POC‘s trauma as plot, will add to my list!! 3w
2 likes1 comment
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Sydneypaige
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I loved so much about this book! It gives wonderful stories and examples for us to consider modeling our own relationships and communities like. I like that the author wrote from a place of taking responsibility of growing and making changes in their own life as it is always and constantly a learning curve to live outside of the violent norms of society as it stands. This would have changed so much for me to read as a teen in building my own life

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Sydneypaige
The Love Hypothesis | Ali Hazelwood
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While sometimes momentarily cringy with some of the over stated or overly obvious sentences, overall this book is a delight. I love a certain man, who knows what he wants. It was also fun to read a romance set in academia as a current PhD student! Will be reading more by this author for sure!

12 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
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Pickpick

This collection is SO good. It‘s a really wonderful introduction to abolitionist thinking and all of the intersections of it in systemic issues. Kaba is a leader and important voice in the conversation for abolition. Please read.

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Sydneypaige
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I was really interested in this premise - a garden with a phone booth where people can speak to their dead- , but the writing just didn‘t do it for me. It was very slow in a way that I didn‘t feel like served the story and I never felt fully connected to any individual character. I do know it‘s based on a real place and this novel did increase my curiosity in learning more at the very least.

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Sydneypaige
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This essay collection had me legitimately laughing out loud - it‘s so funny. The cat on the front makes so much sense after one essay and becomes a hilarious part of this collection. I will definitely be picking up Irbys other collections because it‘s been so long that I genuinely laughed while reading. The fact that the author moved to the the town I used to live in - Kalamazoo - was an additional treat to discover in this book!

6 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
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This is my first introduction into Zadie Smith and the lore of the writing did not show up for me here. I think Zadie told the story of 2020 well, with lockdown experiences and racism on a global stage. It‘s maybe a bit difficult for me to read in 2022 because the lessons of community and love dissipated and the real work of antiracism didn‘t start. I‘m so glad art exists from 2020 though, for us as humanity to go back to.

8 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
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I love this audio book! Especially at the end with the excerpts of live therapy sessions. This book is pain and truth and healing and a journey. I have all the respect for lived experience authors who have to challenge therapists and medical professionals and stigma and power imbalances and so much “knowledge” based on bs in the fields. This book is honest and powerful and it‘s truth - it‘s messy & real & insightful. Into my dissertation it goes!

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Sydneypaige
Book Lovers | Emily Henry
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For eldest sisters everywhere, this is more than a romance novel - it‘s also about you and us. The end of this book had me in tears - the ways you have to untangle how you want to protect your younger siblings in ways that don‘t serve y‘all as adults or maybe never served them at all. The love story is great, Emily Henry is a delightful author for any romance trope: enemies to lovers like this one or friends to lovers as PWMOV. Great summer read!

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Sydneypaige
Daisy Jones & The Six | Taylor Jenkins Reid
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Two critical errors delayed my reading of this book: (1) I got it confused with the Bridget Jones‘s Diary series which after the first book I didn‘t like the first and (2) no one told me this was based on / inspired by Fleetwood Mac. Had I known those things earlier, I absolutely would had read this book way before. The audio book is so fun with the entire cast of voices and surprisingly easy to follow along with as you get to know them. Read it!

15 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
Parable of the Sower | Octavia E Butler
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I understand why Black women are encouraging everyone to read this instead of The Handmaids Tale. I was surprised, at first, the absence of the reproductive rights centrality because of the connection the two books are highlighted to have. But the longer I read, the more I understand why this book mirrors our time so much better than Handmaids. And again how white feminism lets us down. I will absolutely be reading the second book.

17 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
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A Romeo and Juliet retelling through an interracial teenage couple in the 1990s. Angel, a Puerto Rican American boy from Brooklyn, and Hannah, a Korean American girl from Queens, are all consumed in love. The prose of this is beautiful and a cultural love letter. I love that the author speaks to us between the seasons of this story (instead of acts) as you might hear in a play.

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Sydneypaige
The Tobacco Wives | Adele Myers
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Historical fiction on the Big Tobacco cover up told through a fifteen year old seamstress who works with the wives of the Tobacco executives. It is also such a clear example of white feminism and how people cause harm to keep their proximity to power. It‘s an easy and pretty compelling read, especially to engage with for the lineage of feminism and where lacking intersectionality when telling history only gives us part of the story.

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Sydneypaige
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I was so hopeful and excited for this book, and while it is a nice nonjudgmental introduction into consensual nonmonogamy in many ways, it‘s also rooted in so many problematic things. Starting with the idea that our adult relationships are attachment relationships (they are not). It also assumes often that people want to be on the relationship escalator, and misses intersectionality over and over. Pretty let down by the groundwork of this book.

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Sydneypaige
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This collection of short stories from Spokane, Seattle, and Portland is enticing and even comedic at times. I often wished some of the stories went on longer. Covers topics from addiction and poverty and survival and relational hurts. So while an easy read in the length and well-writtenness, it‘s heavier on the topic matter of stories.

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Sydneypaige
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Pickpick

I truthfully didn‘t know anything about the original story, so this didn‘t read to me like a feminist retelling because I had no original references. However I LOVE this story and these characters. Romance, myth, dragons, ancestral legacy. The pacing is nice, the characters are lovely, and the cover is beautiful. Would recommend. I think this is my first Korean author as well!

New Kid on the Book The cover looks cool! 1mo
5 likes1 comment
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Sydneypaige
Vladimir | Julia May Jonas
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This book is an academics playground.
The description & early sentences of the book misleads towards Lolita vibes, and it is in the obsession sense, not the underage sense. It‘s reminiscent of The Picture of Dorian Gray - debates art and morality and beauty in a provocative way. It is about power dynamics and consent and sex and agency in relationships and systems. It leaves a bit of an icky feeling behind, an intent I‘m sure the author intends

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Sydneypaige
When We Were Birds | Ayanna Lloyd Banwo
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Pickpick

First author I‘ve ever read from Trinidad & Tobago! The story is set in the country and is a love story with plenty of mythos involved too. Also the cover is absolutely gorgeous. There is nothing particularly angsty or lustful in this love story. It‘s a curiosity, a being drawn to one another, an entwining of lives. Devoid of the western tropes that are often in romance reads. Felt refreshing and delightful. Also family stories are very present.

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Sydneypaige
Trauma and Recovery | Judith Lewis Herman
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This is a really informative book about the history and research of trauma. However, being published in the 50s means it‘s extremely outdated in many ways. Particularly in the language that is used, and lacking much intersectionality when it comes to who is most impacted by trauma in systemic ways. I would recommend as a foundational text about trauma though!

3 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
Vagabonds!: A Novel | Eloghosa Osunde
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I have never been to Lagos, but this reads like a love letter to the city and those who don‘t quite belong by some peoples standards. The outlawed, misfits, queers, kinky folks, demons, and gods. These are intertwining stories of the city through their eyes and experiences through class, sexuality, and truths/lies. It‘s definitely worth your time.

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Sydneypaige
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Pickpick

Yes to the couple, yes to the mental health representation in the book, yes to the romance and love and characters. AH just do yourself a favor and read it!

kera_11 reading this book is an act of self love 3mo
6 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Sydneypaige
Popisho: A Novel | Leone Ross
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Mehso-so

I‘ll admit that I picked up this book solely due to the cover at first. Magical realism that tries to contend with political corruption and addiction and betrayal. I didn‘t fully connect with all the characters and always felt just a bit on the outside of the story. A reader problem, not a writer problem; the writing is slow and meandering in a cup of tea in the rain or beach read kind of way. An interesting read!

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Sydneypaige
Yinka, Where is Your Huzband? | Lizzie Damilola Blackburn
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This book is about the pressure to get married as a woman in some Nigerian families, single life struggles & woes, and friendship + a little bit of therapy. Breezy, fun read!

3 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
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Pickpick

This is quite an accessible introduction into trauma and how to support the healing of trauma both within yourself and as a society. It has a nice blend of science, social justice, and mental health mixed throughout. It discusses trauma in a way that doesn‘t overwhelm the reader with despair or invoke helplessness. Great read!

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Sydneypaige
The Mysterious Benedict Society | Trenton Lee Stewart
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This is adorable! Gang of children, with all the talents that children possess, on a mission to thwart an evil plan. It‘s book one of a series, but it wraps up in a place that you could read this as a stand alone.

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Sydneypaige
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This should be read by therapists, teachers, and social workers in Western institutions. It reads a bit like a thesis, but it is an educational book above all. It‘s not full of practices or modalities, but rather a grounding for ideological shifts about trauma and the ways Western pathology & systems do not serve Indigenous communities.

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Sydneypaige
Brown Girls: A Novel | Daphne Palasi Andreades
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A novel written in second person, which I found interesting. I like the way it evoked experiences that are likely familiar to so many folks in the US. It had short chapters and stories and because it‘s written in second person, you‘re swept along in experiences, rather than characters individually. Also it didn‘t center pain of Brown girls; the author let them be girls, complex and excited and full of hormones, etc while also not denying pain.

8 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
Seven Days In June | Tia Williams
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YES YES YES YES. I love this book.

kera_11 I knew you‘d love this! glad you finally read it!! 5mo
Sydneypaige It was sooo good 😭😍🥹 5mo
9 likes2 comments
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Sydneypaige
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Pickpick

Vietnamese food, a refugee‘s journey to Miami, and a blossoming friendship 💕 I really enjoyed this memoir that follows both Tung & Kathy in turn. Through the two women, it shows their different mindsets/attitudes and American privilege (“American Dream” propaganda) and Vietnamese culture.

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Sydneypaige
Stay and Fight: A Novel | Madeline ffitch
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Told through alternating voices of the characters throughout, this is a story about found family in Appalachia. This story weaves through so many heavy topics of environmentalism, hate toward the poor and gay folks, racism, and child welfare. It‘s not a breeze through type book, it‘s slow and heavy, but it is compelling and the characters feel so real.

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Sydneypaige
Bluets | Maggie Nelson
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An ode to blue, and a few more things too. Another interesting memoir form 💙

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Sydneypaige
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An apocalyptic novel set in a fictional First Nations territory (though based on Indigenous stories that the author heard/knows). It‘s slow, but if you can settle in and feel the impact of the story, it is haunting. Although it‘s a very small part of the book, I enjoyed the bits about the title!

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Sydneypaige
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A hell of a memoir. I loved this format, telling of their life through letters to others. I will continue to read everything they ever write because I‘m so captivated. I also love that they read their own audio books.

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Sydneypaige
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This book is a deep romance, and I loved it. Not an easy story, and set alongside the pain of reality as a Black family in the US. But this is a beautiful love story.

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Sydneypaige
Tiger Lily | Jodi Lynn Anderson
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A Peter Pan retelling from the perspective of Tinkerbell. I found the pacing to be quite slow and I had a difficult time with the audiobook narrator, so it might be worth reading a physical copy of the book if you plan to read. Overall I feel let down that we are only able to observe Peter, Tiger Lily, and Wendy, rather than hear from them directly. Plus the tropes of I‘m “not like other girls” and damsel in distress are tired.

2 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
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Pickpick

I‘m so invested in this fantasy world, that I will be stalking the release date for the second book until it‘s announced. The world building is BEAUTIFUL, the characters are built with depth, writing lyrical, and I read the second half of the book almost in one sitting. The mythology was enticing, the twists unexpected, just overall really so good.

melmes Can‘t wait to finish this book, only started but still :) 5mo
KelsiTaylor Definitely will be moving this up my tbr 5mo
10 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Sydneypaige
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This is a novel I picked up without knowing much about it at all. I had expectations for it to be a short essay collection, but it‘s not. It‘s about friendship and dying and love and writing and the need to talk/tell a story. I will definitely be picking up Nunez‘s The Friend after this!

5 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
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Pickpick

Everything I‘ve ever read by bell hooks has changed my beliefs. This one is no different.

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Sydneypaige
Ghost Forest: A Novel | Pik-Shuen Fung
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Pickpick

This is debut novel that reads like a memoir on grief within a family and the perspective of a hurting child reflecting as an adult. There is a lot of medical components to this book and the descriptions made my stomach turn (an absolute personal problem and nothing against the author or writing, just a warning for anyone similar). The chapters are short and quick and it‘s a very fast read. A beautiful meditation on heavy and painful subjects.

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Sydneypaige
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80+ emotions in one book? It‘s a lot. And it‘s so good. There are definitely some nuances that will fundamentally change my life. However if you‘re a fan of Brené‘s, many of the stories and examples are the same from her other books, so if you are picking this up for more or new material of Dr. Brown, this isn‘t it. But if you‘re wanting to nerd out about emotions with her, this is it.

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Sydneypaige
Convenience Store Woman | Sayaka Murata
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Pickpick

As a commentary on work culture, relationships, and capitalist society as a whole, this is brilliant. The characters felt uncomfortable to me at times and cringy, but I imagine that‘s intentional by the author to support the commentary. Main character is brilliant and aware and so literal it hurt sometimes but I still adored her!

19 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
Olga Dies Dreaming | Xochitl Gonzalez
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An amazing debut! This is an intersectional love letter to family and Puerto Rico and activism and romantic love and grappling with authenticity. I loved Olga as a character, and could easily see this being adapted to the screen!