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Sydneypaige

Sydneypaige

Joined March 2021

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Sydneypaige
Before I Let Go | Kennedy Ryan
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A beautiful romance, but with painful realities. While it‘s so honoring of suffering between people, it was heavier than I was looking for due to my mood of wanting a lighter romance. I think there will be more in this series, so best believe when I‘m in the mood for honest complicated relationships in a romance, I‘ll be returning to this author. Stunning work.

10 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
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This book is a cheerleading squad for the adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) screening, which while I applaud a medical practice that understands and considers trauma, this becomes over reliant on a measure that it‘s original authors have come out and said it was not their intention or what ACEs was originally about or for. Working holistically, with mental health in mind for children is SO important and I liked those moments of this book a lot

6 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
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Sometimes I really get uncertain about how I feel about a book when it is a not so compelling commentary. Premise is an American-Egyptian woman meets an Egyptian man after Arab Spring, and they go back and forth playing out stereotypes and making up narratives and stories for each other. And then the last third of the book is a commentary in and of itself about the writing process and memoirs which didn‘t do what I think it hoped to do.

6 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
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Another disappointing trauma book - some sexism, some questionable tactics of equating correlation and causation, and a complete lack of somatics of healing trauma. Also so much of the book felt like self promotion.
I learned later as well that the author has some problematic thoughts about autism that I want to follow up on.

7 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
Arsenic and Adobo | Mia P. Manansala
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Wanted to give a new genre a try, cozy mystery, and I learned it‘s not for me. There is no coziness to murder for me and the setting is couched in immigration and power in society and corruption, which also to me does not feel cozy or like the stakes are low in any way that I come to anticipate in any cozy genre. This is the first book in a multiple part series and I‘m happy to let the rest of the series go.

kera_11 I didn‘t know cozy mystery/murder was a genre 10mo
Sydneypaige @kera_11 this was the first one I‘ve ever heard of! 10mo
8 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Sydneypaige
Avalon: A novel | Nell Zink
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I don‘t think intellectual satire is for me - I find these characters insufferable and not in a way that is enjoyable as a point. I just deeply wanted these characters to get over themselves. There could have been better relationship development but it was distracting to be pulled into this intolerable intellectual thoughts and discourse constantly.

5 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
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This is really fun! An audiobook narrator (IRL & in this story) gets back into romance for one last story with THE current male narrator for romance. It‘s fun to me to break the fourth wall with romance specifically because of the corniness and predictability of the genre so I loved the way they talked about the genre & tropes within the story. There‘s disability rep too!

6 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
Sorry, Bro | Taleen Voskuni
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Sapphic rom com was how this was marketed, and it‘s barely romantic and not a comedy. It‘s mostly about one woman‘s figuring out of what relationship she wants, mixed in with connecting and reconnecting to her cultural identity. I didn‘t find the main character particularly likable and the depth/development of the characters was lacking. More a story about confidence and standing in your truth.

kera_11 This is mostly what I heard about the book elsewhere too, bummer 10mo
5 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Sydneypaige
Black Cake | Charmaine Wilkerson
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Sometimes I get afraid of intergenerational stories because I‘m worried they‘ll be so heavy and pain filled and not paced well. That was not this. There are painful moments (check CW) but overall this book is skillfully engaging and entertaining as it spans times and perspectives. It‘s the story of children learning who their parents really are through an audio recording and unraveling the untruths, finding their way forward. Beautiful!

7 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
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“I want us to understand that nuance is freeing and freedom. There is no such thing as cookie-cutter healing. Everyone brings them an origin story, a history, and identities that are interconnected. There is room to rest in the freedom of managing your own deprogramming journey.. you don‘t have to grind, hustle, accept burnout as normal, and be in a constant state of exhaustion and sleep deprivation”
READ THIS 😍

6 likes3 stack adds
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Sydneypaige
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This is a gift to the world. I was captivated and invested and wanted the collection of these poems to continue on. The subject matter can feel heavy, as explores shame and violence and silence hurts/harms, and it also balances with liberation imaginings. And I am just obsessed with the cover as well!

3 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
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I was so excited and ready to be blown away by this author as I was in her first book Trauma and Recovery, and sadly this book lacks in some very important ways. It didn‘t culturally ground itself from the beginning, as in the perspectives are almost entirely American. It didn‘t cover gender violence from LGBTQ+ folks lived experiences. It doesn‘t cover trauma that comes FROM the criminal punishment system. Spends less times with stories too.

3 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
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Okay wow. This is beautiful. And it‘s also very academic, and light on the fantasy. There is one fantastical element that runs through the whole book, but ultimately it‘s about power and language and privilege and harm and empire and access and friendship. It‘s the work of art people say it is when you‘re ready to face the criticism of the world that it is. It‘s not a whimsical fantasy book by any means.

5 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
Argonauts | Maggie Nelson
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It‘s a weird thing to review a memoir, as I obviously have no comment on Nelson‘s experiences, it‘s always a gift to the world to have someone share their lives, emotions, and thoughts. I did however struggle through the pacing and writing style. I much enjoyed her collection Bluets which was another memoir style but poetic and shorter - which is what sold me to read more from Nelson. This does have important critiques on heterosexuality & women!

7 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
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A book I read to understand some of the lineage of the language we use around and about trauma. Freuds legacy does a ton of harm, and psychoanalysis for primary form of trauma work continues that. I do love the presence and curiosity of the therapist, but ultimately, I can‘t get behind this professionally. If you enjoy reading accounts of other peoples therapy, you will likely really enjoy this as it‘s primarily vignettes.

4 likes2 stack adds
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Sydneypaige
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Incredibly excited to discover this audiobook of a Black trans woman in Britain as overwhelmingly American stories find their ways to the top of charts and awarded accolades. This book is about reflections of the many ways humans transition - gender, sexuality, identity, and more. The author is beautifully and painfully honest about their experiences. Please check content warnings before reading.

4 likes3 stack adds
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Sydneypaige
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This audiobook reading is amazing and one of my favorites ever. The premise of the book was not quite something I was excited to pick up - a woman‘s sessions with a job counselor following the Great Recession job loss - but someone said the audiobook makes it. And it does. Cara is full of life and secrets and it‘s like listening to someone gossip right into your ears in the audio book. It‘s like an expansive Humans of New York interview. Loved

5 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
Devotion | Patti Smith
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I never really know what I‘m looking for when I read books about writing. As are many books on the topic, it‘s part memoir, so it‘s not unworth reading - as peoples stories are interesting to me. I‘m always surprised by the stories and structures writers tell about their writing, making books about the topic never exactly what I think I‘m getting into. Short and the audiobook is read by Patti Smith herself so that‘s lovely.

4 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
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A memoir in the form of mostly therapy transcripts. It‘s both specific and universal in the ways most true things are. The therapy tone is very different than most would encounter here in the West because of our communication styles and cultural expectations. Please engage with the translation with that in mind, as well as with the awareness of story structure and expectations of memoir as someone let us in on a very personal journey.

7 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
Elatsoe | Darcie Little Badger
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Love this cover, glad by the end of the book it makes sense. There are moments where this feels very YA but the premise is very intriguing no matter your age I think. It‘s about an America slightly different than of current, with vampires and animal ghosts and powers passed on to the natives of the land. The commentary is clear while not overwhelming the plot points or the characters. Asexual MC which is written in without making it a major part.

7 likes2 stack adds
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Sydneypaige
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I deeply wanted to love this book - magic teas? Yes please. However, I found this book to be drawn out and because of that, I really I don‘t like the cliff hanger ending. I know there is a second one and I‘ll probably read it, but I‘m definitely not as excited as I was for the series. Which is disappointing because I wanted to get this duology for my sister who loves tea 😔 character development is fine but still feel disconnected.

7 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
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Robots and humans live separate lives now, and this cozy adventure follows a non binary human and a robot who end up meeting. There‘s tea, there‘s philosophy, there‘s healing, there‘s crack a smile humor. Definitely will be reading the next book, really enjoyed this.

10 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
XOXO | Axie Oh
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Apparently I‘m in my YA romance era. I haven‘t read a forbidden love romance in awhile and enjoyed it against the K-pop scene. I read my first book on Idol culture earlier this year, and this book - as it centers a Korean American girl - helped me understand things a bit differently. It‘s not a particularly lovely dovey or spicy tension kind of romance, but it‘s believable and interesting for the high school setting!

oddandbookish I still need to read this one! 12mo
5 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Sydneypaige
Homie | Danez Smith
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The loss of friends, weaved and explored through humor and love and reverence. There‘s pain written about and demands to be witnessed, but not in an overwhelming way that makes you feel like you need to step away from the book. It‘s just honest. I love anything written about adult friendships so I loved this.

4 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
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After My Brilliant Friend, I‘ve been so interested in the author who pens under this name. As I prepare to write my dissertation, I am more & more interested in books that discuss reading & writing, and thought this short series of essays would be interesting. Some insightful tidbits and lines as with most books of this style, but as far as these go, I‘m always more interested in the life & decisions the author makes than improving my writing.

5 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
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I found this book so charming. The pretense is great - how absurd it is that we are used to rating things on five star scales. And so John Green goes through everything from comets, geese, soda, vaccines, songs, etc and not only gives history and stories and moments of humor, but also an absurd five star rating on each topic that is probably never meant to be given star rated reviews. It‘s such a delight.

Sparklemn I loved this book! 12mo
15 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Sydneypaige
Thrust: A Novel | Lidia Yuknavitch
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This is a beautifully intimate weaved narratives of the past, present, and future of the US. It‘s a strange book, and if you don‘t like shifting timelines or perspectives or multiple characters who you unravel overlapping, it‘s not for you. It was descriptive and unusual and I definitely feel like I need to read again at some point in my life to fully comprehend and appreciate.

4 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
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I don‘t typically care to pick up a YA romance, but the main male character provides both bisexual and OCD representation and I‘m here for the increase in Black romance publications so I picked this up. And it‘s adorable! Best friends to enemies to more than friends. I was definitely invested, and will be reading this authors other romances in the future!

DimeryRene I don‘t usually read YA romance either, but this one is everywhere! 12mo
kera_11 we‘ve been telling you to read the brown sister trilogy by this author for years!!!!! 12mo
9 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Sydneypaige
Meaty: Essays | Samantha Irby
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There are times when Samantha Irby is too relatable that it actually makes me anxious to finish some of the essays lol super compelling and hilarious and honest; this is her second collection that I‘ve read and I will continue to whenever I need a pick me up comedy read or I‘m in the mood to get dragged through the mud 😂

4 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
Post-traumatic | Chantal V. Johnson
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Check all CW please! I thought this book would focus more on the work the main character does as a lawyer in a psychiatric hospital. However, the novel primarily focuses on the internal experience of traumas impact. It does an accurate job of exploring the connections brains make to keep us safe and what it is like to live as a woman who experiences violence from men who is ‘stuck‘ in her brain & bodies protective mode. Challenging read

8 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
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This author has a fan in me for life. I LOVE the way she writes adolescence and lets the characters think appropriately for their age and feel their feelings and wrestle with love, friendship, self esteem, and race. I‘m captivated by her females leads each time in their humanity and desires and curiosities. It‘s the kind of book I hope teens do pick up to see themselves represented as they are.

8 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
Real Life: A Novel | Brandon Taylor
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I love a book that‘s set in an unusual frame of time, this is set over the course of one weekend for a fat, gay, Black, southern raised and midwestern living man in grad school. It discusses friendship and opening up to be vulnerable and hurting others and being gay and being at a PWI as a Black man. It‘s not a light read (check CW) but it‘s human and it‘s intimate and I felt like I really got to know the main character.

12 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
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Short, thoughtful, educational, compassionate book. This would make such a great book to buddy or group read to have intentional space to have conversations about the stories, connections, and experiences this author brings. Important distinctions between personal and systemic throughout.
(Author uses they/them pronouns if you include in comments or own reviews)

3 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
Beartown: A Novel | Fredrik Backman
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I am so sad that I waited so long to read this. I wish I would have listened more closely when people said it‘s about a hockey town, and not heard it‘s about hockey. Because it‘s about high schoolers and relationships and betrayal and parents and trust and belief. Please do check TW and even though it crosses into painful places, ultimately this book is beautifully about human beings and the hurt we cause but also the healing.

11 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
Poukahangatus | Tibble TAYI
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This is such a powerful collection of poetry! I‘m so glad it finally had its US debut to be able to read this. The expression of identity as an Indigenous person weaves in with mythology and current pop culture. Stunning work! And proud to add another Māori writer into the bookshelf. The cover too I mean come on.

7 likes2 stack adds
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Sydneypaige
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This book ends up feeling like a resume booster for these two academics, they spend so much of the book selling their own projects and works. It‘s an interesting set up, with each chapter starting with an excerpt and both authors responding together as if they were almost in written conversation of each other. I think it could have been so much more engaging because the wisdom is there, just stuck between so much stagnant commentary.

4 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
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An interesting novella that‘s a reflection on idol culture of pop stars in Japan. The writing reminds me of the sort of matter of fact, my reality is the truth, writing that you get in the novel Convenience Store Woman. It‘s an incredibly interesting perspective of being a teen girl in Japan obsessively tuned into a celebrity. Also I‘m obsessed with this cover.

7 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
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It‘s a yes from me!!! I will read anything in this universe (which is great because I think the author is officially signed for two other books in this universe). Originally this was the second in a duology, but with the way it ends, I could see both it being the end of Xingyin‘s story, or I can see where the author could continue on with her. Either way, I‘m always captivated by the mythology, the adventure, the love and the twists & turns.

8 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
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Required reading! This book not only helps bring awareness and teaches about asexuality, but it also frames the lack of intentional conversation that happens for other sexual identities regarding attraction, intimacy, friendship connection, sexual consent & desire, and romantic partnership. It‘s an incredible read. (Slightly rushed at the end, but otherwise, just really wonderful).

12 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
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This book feels so much like My Brilliant Friend (the show, as I have not read the book). It‘s about young female friendship and it‘s slow and relational and beautiful. The type of book to settle into feels like you‘re watching a movie.

Chelsea.Poole That‘s EXACTLY how I feel about this one! 13mo
8 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Sydneypaige
Fresh Banana Leaves | Jessica Hernandez
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Always here for new perspectives and learning from Indigenous folks. This book weaves through many subjects related to Indigenous science and repeats the message of returning the land for Native folks for stewarding. There are some interview parts to chapters and some parts are building arguments for her point or sharing personal stories. An interesting read!

6 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
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The premise of a woman faking being pregnant to her work, and a tag line about becoming a landmark part of feminist literature, is what pulled me into this book. There are many social observations through the novel that made me laugh at having them pointed out in that way, but on the whole, I didn‘t find this book thrilling or subversive as listed. It‘s interesting and the main character can be compelling but that comes & goes.

7 likes2 stack adds
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Sydneypaige
Golden Ax | Rio Cortez
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Poetry books always require a certain headspace for me, and because of that I‘ve been sitting on this books for months. So happy to have finally read it, Rio weaves in past and present and builds on her family‘s knowledge and stories. I‘ve never been to Utah but the way landscape weaves into personal truths in these poems feels familiar to me.

5 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
Giovanni's Room | James Baldwin
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My new favorite Baldwin book and probably going to stay in my top 10 reads of the year. This is about a man struggling with his sexuality and relationships as an American in Paris. It‘s heartbreaking and beautiful.

8 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
Cemetery Boys | Aiden Thomas
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The only complaint I have for this book is the pacing felt off. The character building and relationship development was slow in a beautiful way, and then so much adventure happened in the last few chapters. Otherwise though, I love these characters, I love the story, I love the fantasy aspects. Will be reading the sequel for sure ✨

4 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
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A truly beautifully honest essay collection on patriarchy through the perspective of a Black man. It has letters, it has travel stories, it has childhood stories, family, romantic relationships. Covers it all.

2 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Irish set Christmas novella - wintery setting, Santa letters, presents. It‘s a short and powerful story about if one should keep a secret discovered about the convent run laundry mat? A fathers conscience, harm toward girls, silence by the church, set against a community struggling for food & heating in 1980s Ireland.

8 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
The Trauma of Everyday Life | Dr Mark Epstein
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I really keep trying to give white men the benefit of the doubt on trauma books they get published and I just really have to stop. Author attempts to use Buddha and Freuds approaches to trauma together, as if epistemologically they are aligned. Freud is a problematic elder to the way trauma in psychology is understood. Ugh.

6 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
Delphi | Clare Pollard
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Mythology as a way of meaning making for the years of 2020/2021. It‘s still tough to read about reflections about lockdown and the early days of the covid 19 pandemic, still ups my heart rate to hear the pain and confusion and suffering we all went through in different shapes and shades.

6 likes1 stack add
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Sydneypaige
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Another book where I had the wrong expectations of it. I expected a memoir about patterns, about healing, about creating new pathways. While I enjoyed what I got instead, part memoir part cultural critique, I struggled to let go of what I thought the book was. Writing lovely, format worked but does feel different, story weaving and connection brilliant.

6 likes1 stack add