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TiminCalifornia
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They lay beneath perfect rows of white graves that lined lush green lawns.

#FirstLineFridays

review
TiminCalifornia
Rick | Alex Gino
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Pickpick

This was good. This author seems to write at a level that would resonate with middle schoolers if I recall myself at that age. The conflicts and questions 11 year old Rick is facing are real and respected, never minimized by the author. When it comes to gender and sexual identity the younger generations are leading the way yet still are learning. TV can give us overly mature, confident kids but Gino‘s kids feel authentic, the kid next door.

Scochrane26 I loved George, will have to read this one. 5d
34 likes1 comment
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TiminCalifornia
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Gortah van Murkar stood on his battlements at Zwaarstad and stared across the plains towards the port at Havenstad.

#firstlinefridays

review
TiminCalifornia
Enemy at the Gates | Vince Flynn, Kyle Mills
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Pickpick

Fast and fun political thriller. First I've read from Kyle Mills who picked up the Mitch Rapp series after Vince Flynn's untimely death. An easy read and Mills manages to incorporate the current U.S. political divisions in a realistic way, showing how even honorable politicians, career government servants, and military personnel can find themselves making morally ambiguous decisions out of a sense of self-preservation.

#doublespin

TheAromaofBooks Great progress!! 1w
31 likes1 comment
review
TiminCalifornia
Bessie Smith | JACKIE. KAY
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Pickpick

Such an interesting woman and career. Bessie Smith was Empress of the Blues, a highly successful blueswoman of the early 20th century. I listened to a lot of her recordings while reading. So powerful. The author is Scotland‘s national poet. A fan of Smith since childhood, the book was as much a love letter to her idol as it was a biography. That we have so few resources on Smith‘s life is a tragedy. Nothing to give us her thoughts about her life.

37 likes4 stack adds
blurb
TiminCalifornia
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Tagging my favorite book read this month. A bit scattershot on the bingo board for October!

The more I think about The Paradox Hotel, the more favorable I am towards it. The Abrams and Oluo books were great to read in tandem and I am going to do my best to make sure my action doesn't end with just reading them. They both offer really practical suggestions for participating in ending systemic racism in the U.S.

#bookspinbingo

review
TiminCalifornia
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Pickpick

Oluo‘s delivery is forthright and factual, conversational and blunt. She does justice to her readers, especially her white readers of whom I am one, by not mincing words, by her willingness to explain, to share her personal experiences. I think I will find conversations where race comes up easier to engage in. Grateful for this new perspective and hopeful it bears fruit as I live my life.

#doublespin

TheAromaofBooks Great progress!! 4w
41 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
TiminCalifornia
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Pickpick

I am on board the Stacey Abrams train. She so clearly lays out the threats to American democracy. And she lays out the solution to neutralizing those threats too. If only all our public leaders were so competent. #hope #audiobook #fairfight

Leftcoastzen I need to get to this one. I really admire her . 4w
38 likes1 comment
blurb
TiminCalifornia
The New York Stories of Henry James | Colm Toibin, Henry James
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#bookspinbingo for November assembled!

#bookspin
#doublespin

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 4w
26 likes1 comment
blurb
TiminCalifornia
It's Winter! | Linda Glaser
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Signed up for my first #wintergames2021. See @Clwojick and @StayCurious for details and the sign up link.

Looking forward to the fun with all of you!

Clwojick Thank you for sharing, and glad to have to with us! ❤️🎄🌟 1mo
27 likes1 comment
review
TiminCalifornia
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Pickpick



Charming. High expectations and it did not disappoint. #audiobook narrator was good but would have been helped by 1-2 others given the number of characters and need for variety of voices. Disappointed that he chose to go with a countrified “hick” accent for the fellow who held prejudices against those different from him. Using that accent played into a stereotype when not stereotyping was a major message of the story.

review
TiminCalifornia
Like a Love Story | Abdi Nazemian
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Mehso-so

Fair to good. The author‘s note at the end was better than the book. 2nd book I have read from Nazemian and my second lukewarm response. I like the characters and want to connect with them but never quite click. Enjoyable enough though, well researched and mostly believable.

#queer

review
TiminCalifornia
Winter's Orbit | Everina Maxwell
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Panpan

Boring. There was no spark. Lots happens but without suspense or drama being allowed to build. There‘s no sexual tension between the two characters who supposedly are falling in love. Absolutely no one is capable of direct communication, and world building by the author was weak. Would have bailed but I needed this for my ‘set in space‘ square on #lgbtqbookbingo2021.

This is popular with many people but I‘m glad move on to something else.

Kenyazero Oh no! Haha I hate getting trapped into reading a sucky book because I already put effort into reading it for a challenge. I‘ve read several like that this year. 1mo
TiminCalifornia @Kenyazero It‘s character building! 1mo
Kenyazero @TiminCalifornia Ha, I like that! 1mo
33 likes3 comments
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TiminCalifornia
Untitled | Unknown
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Gissy So cute this quote!❤️❤️❤️ 1mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Love this 💙 1mo
Leftcoastzen Thanks for the tag! 1mo
32 likes3 comments
review
TiminCalifornia
Exciting Times | Naoise Dolan
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Pickpick

If you like your relationship books with witty repartee and progressive political views, this is the book for you. Fast-paced with a heroine I liked on the page and would detest in real life, I found myself enjoying this selection from #queerbookbox. The “literary fiction“ styled ending didn't quite fit this modern romance of a story that was mostly light but touched on real issues. The classism represented by the characters rang true.

#bookspin

Reggie Lol, yes I love reading about exhausting people in books but in real life, no thanks. 1mo
TheAromaofBooks Great progress!!! 1mo
38 likes2 comments
review
TiminCalifornia
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Pickpick

This is a pick because I'm choosing not to nitpick elements of it. Good action and a good take on time travel. A minor character is non-binary (they/them) very well written - other authors should take note. Snappy dialogue. A little too rigid on the good vs. evil aspect. All UHNW persons were evil, entitled and un-woke while all paycheck earners were good-intentioned, earnest, in reach of nirvana.

Thanks #netgalley for the ARC

#queer positive

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TiminCalifornia
Every Body Looking | Candice Iloh
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Almost forgot to post September #bookspinbingo results! Tagging favorite book read this month. No bingo but a decent variety of books completed. Modern Nature is my current read and it is going to take take awhile to get through.

TheAromaofBooks Yay!! Great month!!! 2mo
24 likes1 comment
quote
TiminCalifornia
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Droplets of blood pat the blue carpet, turning from red to black as they soak into the fibers.

#FirstLineFridays

review
TiminCalifornia
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Pickpick

This was good as a #audiobook; excellent narration. I enjoyed it as a series of meditations. The language is dated-Old English-y. But I enjoyed that aspect of it and it made me listen closely to understand. This writing must have been quite a departure from other religious texts of its time. Definitely spiritual but not in the way I think of Christian teachings from that era. Enjoyed this and I will revisit in the future.

blurb
TiminCalifornia
Winter's Orbit | Everina Maxwell
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October #bookspinbingo playlist.

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 2mo
28 likes1 comment
review
TiminCalifornia
Tell It to the Bees | Fiona Shaw
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Pickpick

A good story that takes its time. Nothing is rushed. Has one of the best written child characters I‘ve read in a very long time. Captured the maturity, reasoning, interests and observations of a 10/11 year old boy perfectly. He‘s given full personhood by the author, never less than the adults. Recommend if you like stories that develop slowly. Ending a bit abrupt but maybe I just didn‘t want it to end.

#bookspin
#queer
#bookclub

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 2mo
33 likes1 comment
review
TiminCalifornia
Red Rock Baby Candy | Shira Spector
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Mehso-so

The relatively low rating is entirely due to my personal response to the book and nothing to do with the quality. I read this picture book as part of the #lgbtqbookbingo2021 challenge. I'm not usually triggered by a female immersive experience any longer but this one was challenging, surfacing some nearly forgotten feelings (pre-transition/medical intervention).
Longer review:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4204331873

#queer
#doublespin

blurb
TiminCalifornia
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AmyG Great quote. 2mo
wanderinglynn Great quote! 2mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks True!! 🌹 2mo
37 likes3 comments
review
TiminCalifornia
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Pickpick

A solid non-fiction collection; there‘s not a one I disliked. Easy to pick up and put down. Jumping around is okay but the selections are loosely grouped together by theme. “An Animal Looks at Me” and “Capital Realism” were favorites while “The Unknown Soldier” was most thought-provoking.

#nonfiction
#shortstory

42 likes1 stack add
quote
TiminCalifornia
Tell It to the Bees | Fiona Shaw
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“You came upon the pond quite suddenly, if you didn‘t know it was there.”

Excerpt From
Tell it to the Bees
Fiona Shaw

#FirstLineFridays

Kenyazero I love that as the first line 😍 2mo
28 likes1 comment
review
TiminCalifornia
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Pickpick

Intelligent, sobering, and compassionate. Di Giovanni has reported from this war torn region for more than two decades; her relationships with Middle Eastern persons imbue this book's examination of Christianity today in Syria, Egypt, Gaza and Iraq with meaningful, nuanced, very real experience. Much more than an academic history, we feel the strain of life as a religious minority and understand the accelerating exodus of Christians.

#netgalley

quote
TiminCalifornia
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“I BEGIN THIS BOOK ON THE FIRST DAY OF SPRING IN PARIS, CLOSE TO THE TIME when the trees throughout the city blossom and the buds scatter on the sidewalks like stars.”

#firstlinefridays

review
TiminCalifornia
Every Body Looking | Candice Iloh
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Pickpick

Possibly the best novel in verse I've encountered, beautifully read by the author. The dance descriptions were brilliant, capturing the confluence of internal feelings, the dance studio, being conscious (or not) of the instructor and other dancers. Loved Ada's sensitivity to her father who relied so heavily on religion as a single parent, and her growing into the realization that she doesn't need religion in the same way.

#YA
#BIPOC Author

40 likes1 stack add
review
TiminCalifornia
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Mehso-so

Finished the tagged book last night for a #bookspinbingo. I liked the message but the presentation was too formulaic. There are other spiritual readings that deliver similar insights in a way that worked better for me. But glad for the BINGO!

Suet624 Chopra is a great salesman with some spirituality thrown in. Just my 2 cents. 3mo
32 likes1 comment
review
TiminCalifornia
When the Moon Was Ours | Anna-Marie McLemore
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Mehso-so

Fine YA. Girl nicknamed Honey, boy nicknamed Moon. Honey Moon. Teenage romance with misunderstandings, overreactions, and high school mean girls. Personally not a fan of magical realism and the text is over saturated with similes that were so obscure they concealed rather than illuminated. Pretty prose but now I need a palate cleaner.

#queer
#booclub

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TiminCalifornia
Migrations: A Novel | Charlotte McConaghy
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Pickpick

I liked the book even without finding much likable about Franny, the story‘s main character. McConaghy did pretty well with the construction of the story which primarily is told in Franny‘s present day and interspersed with flashbacks to roughly a decade earlier when she was in her early 20s and then to 5 years previous when another traumatic event occurred, disrupting her life. Sometimes hard to keep straight, especially in #audiobook format.

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TiminCalifornia
Siesta | Berry Fleming
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This day was made for siesta and not much else. I did manage to get my September #bookspinbingo line up assembled!

#bookspin
#doublespin

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 3mo
44 likes1 comment
review
TiminCalifornia
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Pickpick

Reflections on a long life. Would be easy to dismiss as curmudgeonly scribbling. Even with an active mind, the world is smaller at 90. But the perspective! She reflects on the state of world affairs, recognizing that in her lifetime Britain passed from being a world power to secondary. What does that mean for her identity as a Briton, an identity formed when she was young? She often remembers her cat Ibsen in her thought diary and misses him.

thegreensofa I can‘t help ogling your cat! 😻. Is that Jeffrey? He is so adorable. He looks happy. 3mo
TiminCalifornia @thegreensofa Yes, Jeffrey. My reading companion cat. He's happiest sitting in a window. 3mo
36 likes2 comments
blurb
TiminCalifornia
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Thanks for the #WondrousWednesday tag, @eeclayton !

1. 14
2. No set goals.
3. William Gibson
4. My dog

Eggs Thanks for playing 🤗🐶📚 3mo
eeclayton You're welcome ☺️ 3mo
27 likes2 comments
review
TiminCalifornia
Inferno: A Novel | Dan Brown
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Mehso-so

Best I can say for this month‘s #bookspin read is I cleared off a TBR book. It had been left behind by a family member after staying with me. My 2nd Dan Brown and just not impressed. It was like viewing a slideshow of my grandparents‘ European travels. Lots of cathedrals and artwork and little historical anecdotes. Great for a travelogue! But Brown adds a plot that wasn‘t very suspenseful and didn‘t hang together well. Adding a ⭐️ for Dante. 3/5

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 3mo
31 likes1 comment
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TiminCalifornia
Migrations | J. L. Torres
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Bailed on this #netgalley pick at 75%. Finished 8/11 short stories & can‘t bring myself to read the rest. The stories are about the Puerto Rican experience. Learned some PR history but the Puerto Ricans in this book are crass, physically violent in self-expression, angry and bitter. Weird dissonance in the smoothly gentle narrative voice and inner thoughts of the characters and then a violent eruption, acting out that didn‘t seem to have a basis.

31 likes1 stack add
quote
TiminCalifornia
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I have never before in my life kept a diary of my thoughts, and here at the start of my tenth decade, having for the moment nothing much else to write, I am having a go at it.

#firstlinefridays

blurb
TiminCalifornia
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1) Yes, usually the author is someone I know or known to a friend.

2) No, but I am looking forward to reading the tagged book.

#two4tuesday

TheSpineView Thanks for playing! 🌞 3mo
26 likes1 comment
review
TiminCalifornia
Home of the Gentry | Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev
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Pickpick

Interesting. Enjoyable. Lavretsky was a good fellow to spend time with. The novel's romance was sweet in its way but a little too much emphasis on the desirable heroine being wholly good and pure.

Perhaps some parallels between Lavretsky's generation and today's Silicon Valley tech workers.

A good friend gifted this to me. I know he wants me to love 19th century Russian literature as much as he does but alas...only a lukewarm pick.

review
TiminCalifornia
The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois | Honore Fanonne Jeffers
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Pickpick

A sweeping epic history of a Black family with roots in the American south. At the center of the story is Ailey, born in the ‘70s. To understand Ailey, we‘re taken on a journey to meet her ancestors, learn their history and the history of the land where they lived and labored in Georgia during slavery and after. Like Trinity educated me on Irish history, this book has educated me about Black feminism.

Thanks to #netgalley for the free ARC.

Suet624 I‘m reading this now and I‘m totally obsessed with it. I love that you mentioned Trinity. Makes me want to reread that one. Actually it makes me want to read any Leon Uris book. He writes some great stuff. 1mo
45 likes1 stack add1 comment
blurb
TiminCalifornia
Untitled | Unknown
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1. Just generally to read more and I am doing that.
2. To read two book club books, and bookspin and doublespin books. After that, we‘ll see.
3. My dog Legend.

Eggs Great goals👏🏻 and thanks for joining in 🌞🌺🥳 4mo
26 likes1 comment
review
TiminCalifornia
My Tender Matador | Pedro Lemebel
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Pickpick

Imbued with a certain pathos from beginning to end. The writing is beautiful, the story nicely paced and peopled by vivid characters.

I was struck by how meager the expectations were of life, from life. This is most notable from our main character, the Queen of the Corner, but really I got a sense that no one expected much from their lives, not even Chile's dictator Pinochet.

Great choice from the book club.

#doublespin
#bookspinbingo

blurb
TiminCalifornia
When the Moon Was Ours | Anna-Marie McLemore
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#bookspinbingo card for August is ready to go! Looking forward to the books on this month‘s list, including the tagged which I‘ll be reading for a book club.

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! Looks great!! 4mo
27 likes1 comment
quote
TiminCalifornia
My Tender Matador | Pedro Lemebel
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“As she got off the bus..she heard the soldier‘s order for the men to go here and the women to go over there, she didn‘t know what to do, and just as she was getting totally flustered and all in a tizzy, she sensed the emergence of her emergency drag queen.”

#emergencydragqueen

Excerpt From
My Tender Matador
Pedro Lemebel & Katherine Silver

21 likes1 stack add
blurb
TiminCalifornia
Untitled | Unknown
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July #bookreport and #bookspinbingo card. Only a handful of books read but definitely a couple that were highly worthwhile and memorable.

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! Great month!! 4mo
22 likes1 comment
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TiminCalifornia
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This was my July #bookspin which I #audiobooked. Read by the author, who is first and foremost a poet, the book was a perfect...delight. The concept is that the author wrote daily essays for one year about something that delighted him. Brilliantly executed, the essays are curated for publication here. Introspective, irreverent, kind, funny, thoughtful, thought-provoking. July held challenges for me and this book was good for my mental health.

Riveted_Reader_Melissa That sounds delightful! Stacking!!! 4mo
kspenmoll Lovely book! 4mo
Chelsea.Poole I am in love with this book ♥️ 4mo
TiminCalifornia @Chelsea.Poole Agree. Such joy and the author conveys a decency that‘s often missing in public discourse. It‘s refreshing. 4mo
25 likes3 stack adds4 comments
blurb
TiminCalifornia
Home of the Gentry | Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev
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Got next month‘s reading list assembled!

#bookspin
#doublespin
#bookspinbingo

Graywacke Terrific list! 4mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 4mo
27 likes2 comments
review
TiminCalifornia
The Guest Cat | Takashi Hiraide
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Pickpick

Soothing is the best way to describe this book. The chapters are gently philosophical reflections on the life of a young, childless couple. The book is about the cat that visits them, true, but the story is more a memorial of that time in the couples‘ lives, observing their aging landlady, the gentrification of their neighborhood, how nextdoor neighbors can be strangers even after years. Prose writing from a poet.

IuliaC Great review! 4mo
31 likes1 comment
review
TiminCalifornia
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Mehso-so

The writing felt lazy for Grisham; not as suspenseful as earlier books. To focus on one criticism - The 20 year old college student was not depicted as being on his phone nearly enough to come across as a believable character. There are authors who write this age group well, weaving in the split attention of youth to the person in front of them and what's going on via their phone. You can't just write a younger version of a 40 year old.

blurb
TiminCalifornia
The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois | Honore Fanonne Jeffers
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Only 20% into this book but it‘s probably going to end up being one of the best I read this year. The chapter “Pecan Trees and Various Miscellanea” blew me away.

This is all the history we don‘t learn in school. Wonderful storytelling here by Jeffers. I am a fan of poets writing in prose.

27 likes2 stack adds