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Joined June 2017

Teachers Take on Books
review
Unabridged
Ghosts of the Shadow Market | Kelly Link, Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, Robin Wasserman
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I have been in a Shadowhunters kind of mood recently, so this short story collection hit the right spot. Jem/Brother Zachariah was a thread woven through the stories, which visited other familiar characters from Cassandra Clare's novels. She co-authored the stories with other authors, and the tone of each varies. I love that feeling of stepping into the reliable and larger narrative of a series like this one.

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Dangerous Talent | Aaron Elkins, Charlotte Elkins
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A Dangerous Talent was a pleasant surprise--I didn't really know what to expect. The book focuses on Alix London, an art connoisseur whose father was disgraced a decade ago at the center of an art forgery scandal. Alix is struggling to make her away in the art world while living down her father's corruption. She is hired by Chris, who needs her advice about a priceless work by Georgia O'Keeffe. ⬇️

Unabridged As Alix works to determine whether the work is genuine, she comes into contact with a host of unusual characters, including a boozy gallery owner, an eccentric museum curator, and an obnoxious, wealthy agent. Narrator Kate Rudd (I listened on Scribd) is great, and the story was engaging and fast-paced. A strong start to an ongoing series. 21h
7 likes1 comment
review
Unabridged
The Birdwatcher | William McInnes
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I absolutely adored The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson. She paints a vivid portrait of late-1490s Spain (before everyone accepts that new name) as the Spanish Inquisition is spreading Catholicism to new territories. Protagonist Fatima is a concubine to the Sultan who yearns for freedom and choice. Her best friend Hassan is a cartographer whose maps can change the world into the image he creates. (continued in comments)

Unabridged As their Muslim culture meets a contingent from Ferdinand and Isabella, the details of their lifestyle make them a target. The friends flee, ill-equipped for life outside the palace, and discover a world that exists outside the reality they understood to be true. Each new setting offers fantastic world building, and the character arcs reveal the strength and fragility of Fatima and her companions on the journey. 2d
Freespirit A great review. It sounds like a must read!🤗 2d
12 likes2 stack adds2 comments
review
Unabridged
The Marrow Thieves | Cherie Dimaline
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Cherie Dimaline's The Marrow Thieves blew me away. @teachingtheapocalypse sent it my way so we can discuss it on our @unabridgedpod episode focusing on Global Read Aloud selections. Those choices are typically great, but this book . . . wow. Dimaline has woven a book of equal parts gorgeous writing, Indian culture, and an all-too-realistic, post-apocalyptic world. (continued in comments)

Unabridged I wrote down quotations from nearly every page, gasping in astonishment at each new revelation. The protagonist, Frenchie, is wrested from everything in his past as his brother Mitch is taken by The Recruiters, representatives of the new society hungry for the ability to dream, found only in the marrow of Indians. The book is horrifying and hopeful and spun through with stories of past and present. I can't wait to talk about it on the podcast. 3d
11 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
Unabridged
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I picked up Bryn Greenwood's All the Ugly and Wonderful Things with the intention of reviewing it briefly for book club (it's been 2 years since I first read it). Hours later, I moved to the last page on my Kindle, my brain and heart engaged once again by the questions it asks and the challenges it offers to my understanding. Greenwood is, simply, brilliant at building a story that makes you think you know where you stand . . . until you don't. ⬇️

Unabridged On Unabridged, we call these books that we don't recommend . . . but would love to discuss. Others talk about them with allll the trigger warnings.⠀

Have you read Bryn Greenwood's novel? What did you think? (And did you know she has another one coming out this fall? It's called The Reckless Oath We Made and is climbing my "must buy" list.)
4d
Suet624 Inhaled this book and loved it. 4d
Freespirit I haven't read this, but I want to now after reading your review. Thank you! 4d
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Unabridged @Freespirit I‘ll be interested to know what you think. It was quite unexpected for me. 4d
shellleigh33 I thought this was a great read and makes a great book for a book club discussion read!!! 4d
Unabridged @shellleigh33 Yes!! We had a fabulous discussion about the book—its complexity makes it a good choice. 3d
23 likes1 stack add7 comments
blurb
Unabridged
Shout | Laurie Halse Anderson
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In Wednesday's episode, we discuss Laurie Halse Anderson--I so enjoyed delving into her influence on literature, her new memoir in verse Shout, and her YA backlist. Listen to the episode via your favorite podcast catcher, and then share your thoughts on Anderson's work.⠀

What's your favorite Laurie Halse Anderson book?

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Recursion | Blake Crouch
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Blake Crouch's Recursion is an amazingly mind-twisty novel. I've seen it compared to Inception, and yes, I felt my brain expanding, my understanding falling away, and the epiphanies hitting in just the same way (love it!). Somehow, this book bridges sooo many genres while still holding together beautifully. The alternating perspectives of Barry and Helena, police detective and scientist, unveil the truth of False Memory Syndrome, ⬇️

Unabridged an affliction in which people suddenly hold memories of two equally vivid lives, two timelines. The story moves between past and present, Barry and Helena, until we feel that we're beginning to understand the mystery at its center . . . and then it shifts. Utterly brilliant, utterly compelling. I wanted to pick it up as soon as I finished so I could understand more (but, of course, that TBR calls!). ⬇️ 6d
Unabridged As I was reading, I thought of other works--books and movies--that play with time or memory or our understanding. Here's what I came up with: Kate Atkinson's Life After Life, Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall, Kristin Cashore's Jane, Unlimited, Groundhog Day, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Edge of Tomorrow, and (again) Inception. What would you add to the list? I know there are others! 6d
17 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
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Laila Lalami's The Other Americans spirals from a central event: the death, in a hit-and-run accident, of Driss Guerraoui. Driss and his wife Maryam immigrated from Morocco when their eldest daughter was young; their younger daughter, Nora, is the protagonist, along with Jeremy, her friend from high school and a current police officer. They are, however, accompanied by dozens of other narrators as we see the accident and the history of Driss ⬇️

Unabridged and Maryam's family through almost every perspective. This novel is, simply, gorgeous. Its fragmentation brings eloquence to the story, layering truth over truth and revealing, ultimately, that everyone's story has a meaning, that all truths have relevance. And yet, there's a central truth in the weighing of stories, of privileging those who strive for improvement, who fail and move forward. This makes me SOOO want to read Lalami's earlier works. 1w
Freespirit That's a great review😊 1w
11 likes3 stack adds2 comments
review
Unabridged
The Red Scrolls of Magic | Cassandra Clare, Wesley Chu
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Cassandra Clare is SUCH a storyteller. After indulging in the series finale of the Shadowhunters television series, I was definitely in the mood for more Alec and Magnus, and this fabulous adventure novel, which Clare co-wrote with Wesley Chu, satisfied that craving. The couple is so sweet, and I loved the way the book dovetailed with the rest of Clare's work. (continued in comments)

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Have you read this novel? How are you dealing with the end of Shadowhunters? (And, somewhat related, what did you think of the tv series?)
1w
11 likes1 comment
review
Unabridged
The Girl He Used to Know | Tracey Garvis Graves
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My friend Sara let me borrow Tracey Garvis Graves's The Girl He Used to Know after posting a fabulous review of the book on her blog (check it out here: https://buff.ly/2WA61tf). I agree with *almost* all of her review: the relationship between Annika and Jonathan is compelling and believable, (continued in comments)

Unabridged and Graves's decision to alternate both perspectives and timelines worked beautifully to help us understand each character and the complex evolution of their relationship. I do, however, have some mixed feelings about the twist that my friend references. No spoilers here, but if you want to talk about the twist, DM me! I'd love to know what you think. 1w
15 likes1 comment
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Unabridged
All's Faire in Middle School | Victoria Jamieson
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Victoria Jamieson's second book, All's Faire in Middle School, is a joy. Both of my boys loved. Jamieson, the author of Roller Girl, is back with Imogene who is beginning middle school after having been homeschooled all her life. Imogene's parents work at a Renaissance Faire, and her life takes a great turn when she becomes a squire in the Renaissance show every weekend. (continued in comments)

Unabridged When she enters school for the first time, Imogene discovers that she doesn't understand the rules of middle school, and she makes some mistakes on the way toward achieving knighthood in both spheres of her life. Fabulous middle-grade read. 2w
20 likes1 stack add1 comment
blurb
Unabridged
Sleeping Beauties | Stephen King, Owen King
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Yesterday on @unabridgedpod, we released our episode revealing each of our summer TBR lists. This is always hard for me since I want to read ALLLL the things, but I do think we each came up with some compelling reads to look forward to (and some interesting reasons for our choices). Check out the episode, and then let us know: what's on your summer TBR?

review
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Kate Quinn's The Alice Network was a pleasant surprise. I read about it when my book club chose it but somehow thought it was a WWII novel (and I'm still in the grasp of some WWII fatigue after over-reading books from that time period a couple of years ago). It takes, therefore, a special book set during that time period to knock me out of my aversion. Quinn's book was the perfect remedy, perhaps because it's WWII adjacent. (continued in comments)

Unabridged The two narratives acutally take place in WWI, when we learn of Evelyn Gardiner's experiences as a spy, and right after WWII, as we see Charlotte St. Claire recruit Eve and her man-of-all-work Finn to locate her cousin Rose, lost during the war. These women are strong and layered characters, and the complexity of their development over the narrative is fascinating, with a perfect balance of character and plot. Can't wait to talk about it! 2w
marleed I loved this book as well as her new book The Huntress. And this after suffering he same fatigue as you. 2w
Unabridged @marleed I‘ll have to try The Huntress then! 2w
See All 7 Comments
Freespirit Wow great review! 😍 2w
Daisey I also really enjoyed this and am looking forward to reading The Huntress. 2w
Unabridged @Daisey Me too! It looks great. 2w
18 likes7 comments
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Bowlaway: A Novel | Elizabeth McCracken
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Bowlaway is my first Elizabeth McCracken novel. I've heard some great things, but ultimately, I was disappointed. I definitely enjoyed some elements of the novel--the quirky narrative reminded me of John Irving's work, and McCracken's writing has moments of great beauty and terrific humor. I also enjoy multi-generational novels, so this fits right in. Ultimately, I just didn't find Bowlaway compelling *enough*, (continued in comments)

Unabridged and just when I would become intrigued by a character and his/her story, the narrative moved on. I would be interested in trying one of McCracken's earlier novels to see if those strengths I identified grabbed my attention more. I read this one for Camp TOB from the Morning News, and I already know I have other books that will come out on top for me. 2w
Kaye I read this one a long time ago and really liked it. Hopefully it might be a better read for you if you decide to try it. 2w
Unabridged @Kaye Stacked! 2w
Unabridged @Kaye Thanks for the recommendation.❤️ 2w
15 likes4 comments
review
Unabridged
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I don't know why I waited so long to read this #botm pick from October 2018! I love the Green brothers and, of course, John Green's work. While An Absolutely Remarkable Thing definitely has a distinct voice (and it's nothing really like any of John Green's books), the voice and focus are consistent with what I love from Hank and John's videos together. (continued in comments)

Unabridged The novel is witty and dry and brilliant and invested in the essential goodness of humanity, even when humans do evil things. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing focuses on April May, a graphic designer in NYC who discovers, on her way home from work in the middle of the night, a huge, intriguing sculpture that looks Transformer-ish. ⬇️ 2w
Unabridged She calls her friend Andy, and they make a quick YouTube video that becomes one of the first artifacts detailing an alien invasion in which April, Andy, and a host of other brilliant secondary characters become embroiled. I loved watching April come to terms with her sudden fame, with her attempts to do the right thing in response, and with her narration--looking backward--of the mistakes she made, lessons learned, and regrets. 2w
19 likes2 comments
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The Good Girl | Mary Kubica
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Mary Kubica's The Good Girl was *great* on audio--I listened on Audible, which featured a full cast reading--as it unraveled the story of Mia's kidnapping by Owen. The book alternates between past and present ("before" and "after") and a series of points of view through different narrators. There's a mystery in what happened when, in who is at fault, but there's a deeper mystery at the center of Mia's family: (continued in comments)

Unabridged her sister Grace, her father James, and her mother Eve, all of whom have a different view of who Mia is both before and after the kidnapping. As the story circles around the truth, spiraling toward a center, the tension increases, and I as a reader/listener felt I might truly undersatnd these characters. And then, another truth is revealed. Strong, compelling, and suspenseful thriller. 2w
13 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
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Slayer | Kiersten White
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As an enthusiastic Buffy fan, I opened White's novel with excitement and trepidation. I hoped that the book could recapture the Buffy magic but feared that nothing could. Both of my inclinations were right. Is this Buffy-the-series level? Not quite. But it's really great. Athena (Nina) and Artemis are twins born to Watcher parents. As they've grown, Artemis has been the chosen one, stronger both physically and mentally. (continued in comments)

Unabridged Nina, on the other hand, is the healer, the medic, the one too weak to fight or to really be a part of the last generations of Watchers. Artemis has taken on the role as Nina's protector who is willing to sacrifice anything to keep her sister safe. All of that changes when it becomes clear that Nina isn't as weak as everyone had thought. ⬇️ 2w
Unabridged The process of discovery as Nina discovers who she really is--this is a fabulous origin story--is authentic, fast paced, and fraught with danger . . . and with plenty of awkwardness as Nina begins to establish her new identity. While this book has some great call backs to the Buffy television show, it would also work for newbies--can't wait for the second in the series! 2w
wanderinglynn Great review. Stacked! 2w
Unabridged @wanderinglynn I hope you love it!! ❤️ 2w
9 likes1 stack add4 comments
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The River | Peter Heller
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Oh, this book. It's just perfection. I'm a fan of Heller's earlier books The Dog Stars and The Painter, but I think The River may be my favorite yet. Heller's gorgeously understated writing and subtly developed, deep characters drew me in from page one. Despite the fact that a mere accounting of events can't account for the novel's magic, here goes . . . In The River, best friends Jack and Wynn (continued in comments)

Unabridged are taking advantage of their time off from school to enjoy a trip down the river when they become aware of a massive forest fire moving toward them. Though the friends have been alone for most of their trip, they try to warn the two pairs they see on their journey: two drunk men who blow off their warnings and a couple they hear arguing. ⬇️ 3w
Unabridged As Jack and Wynn strive to escape the encroaching fire, their commitment to doing what is right means that they become tangled in the others' conflicts. I'll leave my summary there so that you, too, can have the experience of this book for yourself. One of my favorite books this year for sure. 3w
19 likes2 stack adds2 comments
blurb
Unabridged
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Bryan Stevenson's Just Mercy epitomizes why I love nonfiction so much: it unveils the inner workings of one of our societal institutions, it provides a deep look at a human being who is committed to making the world better, and it elicits all of the emotion of the best of fiction. Check out our Unabridged June Book Club episode to hear our thoughts about Just Mercy and then head on over to @unabridgedpod to let us know what you think!

EadieB I just started listening to this today. It's very interesting and sad about how the police treated black people in the south. 2w
Unabridged @EadieB Agreed! Thanks for the response. ❤️ 2w
9 likes2 comments
review
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The Silent Patient | Alex Michaelides
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I first heard about The Silent Patient during an interview on the @justtherightbook podcast with the editors of @celadonbooks when they described why they chose this novel as the first on the imprint; then, Roxane Coady interviewed Michaelides himself. They talked about the book as a slow build, and it is, but it also sweeps the reader along as the mystery develops. (continued in comments)

Unabridged The book focuses on Alicia Berenson, an artist who has been silent since she was convicted of her husband‘s murder. Theo Faber is a psychotherapist at the mental hospital where Berenson was sentenced. Faber thjnks he can convince her to speak. Michaelides tells the story through Faber's narration and Berenson's diary entries from the summer of her husband Gabriel's death. The book's dark, psychological focus is brilliant and captivating. 3w
9 likes1 comment
review
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After I finished Sonali Dev's Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors, I still felt as if I was in the world she'd built. She took the most essential parts of Pride and Prejudice and transformed them, building a modern world in the midst of an Indian family living in America. Dr. Trisha Raje, the protagonist, has been (sort of) disowned by her family after a mysterious mistake that threatens her brother's political career. (continued in comments)

Unabridged When she meets DJ Caine (DJ stands for Darcy James. Ha!), their relationship seems to be built on immediate repulsion. But of COURSE (because it's a Jane Austen re-telling), that initial conflict is hiding something more. Dev uses the class conflict that lies at the heart of Pride and Prejudice and embraces the horribly awkward misunderstandings that characterize the protagonists' relationship. ⬇️ 3w
Unabridged Over the course of the novel, she addresses the pros and cons of assimilation, the medical field, the art of cooking, the #metoo movement, racism, and police brutality . . . and so much more. And all of that is wrapped up in a subtle, complex, yearning romance that is just gorgeous. I'll definitely be reading more of Sonali Dev's catalog. 3w
15 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
Unabridged
Friday Black | NANA KWAME. ADJEI-BRENYAH
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Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah's Friday Black: Stories is an amazing collection of sharp, biting satire and brilliant science fiction. He confronts police brutality, consumerism, and racism in this series of stand-alone stories that somehow seem to take place in the same dark world. The opening stories, "The Finkelstein 5" depicts a world in which the protagonist must modulate his blackness. (continued in comments)

Unabridged In the face of a white man's acquittal after he brutally murders five black children in front of a library, Emmanuel reacts by increasing his Blackness on the scale he has created to assess himself. Adjei-Brenyah, in this story and the rest, confronts both the brutality of humanity and its movement, perhaps, toward more compassion. 3w
Freespirit Great review! 3w
13 likes3 comments
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Unabridged
Cane River | Lalita Tademy
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Lalita Tademy's Cane River was reminiscent, for me, of Alex Haley's Roots or Ernest J. Gaines's The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman in the scope of its consideration of slavery. The book details the lives of four generations of Creole women, beginning in the midst of slavery in Louisiana with Elisabeth and her daughter Suzette. I listened on Scribd, and the narrators provide a strong voice and storytelling feel to the novel. (continued ⬇️)

Unabridged The focus here is on character, and while those who have read a great deal about slavery will not be surprised, it's the details of these women's lives that are most striking and affecting. I highly recommend Tademy's novel, which is based on the history of her family. 3w
10 likes1 comment
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MAY WRAP-UP! - May was kind of a random reading month. It was a little stressful, and I was consequently all over the place. I did notice an increase in my romance reading (perhaps because romances are like comfort food for me?). My favorite books this month were The Last Romantics; The Impossible Knife of Memory; Just Mercy; Red, White, and Royal Blue; Shout; and Friday Black.

Cinfhen Fabulous month!!! So many good reads 3w
StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Wow! 💖📚💖 3w
BookaholicNatty Wowwzers!!!!! How do you read so many books? Are you a fast reader? Great stack for May!! 3w
Unabridged @BookaholicNatty Yep. And a big old introvert. ❤️ 3w
18 likes5 comments
review
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Shout | Laurie Halse Anderson
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I reveled in re-reading Laurie Halse Anderson's memoir in verse, Shout, and I *cannot wait* to discuss her work on the podcast. This book stands out both in its overall focus and in individual lines (my book darts took a hit for sure!). Her wisdom, compassion, and strength are awe inspiring

16 likes2 stack adds
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Unabridged
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Check out our newest episode--we share our true feelings about the new film adaptation of Nicola Yoon's amazing YA novel The Sun Is Also a Star. ⠀

Have you read the book? Have you seen the movie? What did you think?

Soubhiville I really liked the book, haven‘t seen the movie. 4w
Unabridged @Soubhiville I definitely preferred the book. By a lot!! 4w
11 likes2 comments
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Lee Child's Jack Reacher series is comfort food for me, and I needed this read. (I've been needing a lot of comfort food books this month!) Reacher predictably solved a series of problems and helped random people he met on his journey. The Midnight Line held an unexpected consideration of the opioid crisis, something on my mind since reading Beth Macy's Dopesick. This was number 22 in this series of great, formulaic, suspense and action.

12 likes1 stack add
review
Unabridged
The Things She's Seen | Ezekiel Kwaymullina, Ambelin Kwaymullina
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"In telling this tale, we were informed by two sets of stories that are the inheritance of Aboriginal peoples. . . . Both sets of stories inform our existences and, thus, our storytelling. The ancient tales of Aboriginal nations of Australia tell of an animate world, where everything lives" ("Author's Note," Ambelin and Ezekiel Kwaymullina).⠀

I had an urge to quote the entire Author's Note here but did restrain myself. (continued in comments)

Unabridged I encourage you, though, to pick up this book immediately and not to skip the Note, which offers an enriching perspective on the stories behind the novel. It centers on two narrators: teenage Beth accompanies her father on his investigation into a fire that resulted in one man's death. The only catch? Beth is dead. Her recent death has left her single father alone and nearly unable to function. ⬇️ 4w
Unabridged The second narrator is Catching, one of the children who survived the fire and who shares her tale, which is rife with Aboriginal stories, in verse. As the two narratives twine together, the truth behind the mysterious death becomes distressingly clear. This gorgeous, haunting, hopeful novel is a must read! 4w
Freespirit Sounds amazing! Great review 4w
Unabridged @Freespirit Thank you!! ❤️ 4w
17 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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It has been a glorious long weekend, filled with lots of reading. And time with family and planting and cleaning up my basement--not glamorous but wildly satisfying. ⠀

What has given you joy or satisfaction this weekend?

Chrissyreadit Same- gardening, cleaning and reading. 1mo
Unabridged @Chrissyreadit Love it! Such a feeling of a weekend well filled. ❤️ 1mo
14 likes2 comments
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Unabridged
The Great Gatsby | F. Scott Fitzgerald
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This week, in our Bookworm Problems episode, we've been sharing bookish issues that plague us. One of mine (Jen's) is my recent tendency NOT to re-read. As an English teacher for 16 years, there were books that I read every year with my students. I had both a feeling of comfort and of discovery each time I re-read one of these texts, reveling in returning to my favorite parts and rejoicing when I found something new. (continued in comments)

Unabridged I found (no surprise) that the best books hold up to re-reading, offering hidden treasures that only familiarity could uncover. As I grew older, my own perspective changed--I read Gatsby differently in my 30s, after dozens of tours through the book, than I did as a teenager experiencing for the first time Gatsby's tragic fate and Nick's attempts to understand his friend.⠀ 1mo
Unabridged After I left my English classroom, I didn't HAVE to re-read anymore, and so, largely, I haven't (except occasionally for the podcast!). At first, it was refreshing to be reading only new things, but three years in, I've begun to miss that cherished experience. So one of my goals for this summer is to choose a few favorites and to revel in re-reading once again.⠀ 1mo
marleed I love to reread books. I donated about 2/3 of my library in a recent move and have spent the last year rebuilding my library wall - many are books I had already read. I can‘t wait to dig back in. But then there‘s my Overdrive with new books too! 1mo
Unabridged @marleed That‘s my constant battle—the lure of the new is tough to resist!! 1mo
9 likes4 comments
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Unabridged
The Bride Test | Helen Hoang
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Helen Hoang's The Bride Test is a moving, gorgeous, steamy romance that more than lives up to her debut. Khai's mother travels to Vietnam to find him a bride. After testing several women who don't pass her test, she finds My, a humble single mother who is working as a cleaning lady to provide for her daughter. She agrees to go to America to win over Khai, in hopes of offering her daughter a better life. (continued in comments)

Unabridged Khai, who is autistic, is convinced that he is incapable of love and that he must protect others (and himself) from over attachment. As the they begin to know one another, Hoang develops a romance that begins with friendship. I loved this novel. Oh, and be sure to read Hoang's Author's Note. As in The Kiss Quotient, her revelations about the story behind the novel only made me love it more. 1mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Is this a sequel to The Kiss Quotient? 1mo
Unabridged @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks No, it‘s a stand-alone—just her second book. 1mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Unabridged ok great!! Thank you!! 1mo
11 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Unabridged
Wintergirls | Laurie Halse Anderson
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Brilliant books by Laurie Halse Anderson just keep piling up for me--Wintergirls is one more to add to the list. Protagonist Lia is dealing with the death of her former best friend Cassie; Lia is also struggling to maintain her recovery from an eating disorder, one that originated during her friendship with Cassie. Wintergirls is largely an interior novel, one that immerses the reader in Lia's thoughts and emotions. (continued in comments)

Unabridged Anderson depicts the beauty and pain of Lia's relationships with her family, particularly her younger half-sister Emma, with such vividness. This is an excellent, heartwrenching, poetic novel. I can't wait to discuss it on our Laurie Halse Anderson episode of Unabridged!

What books by Laurie Halse Anderson would you recommend? Can you think of any books to pair with Wintergirls?
1mo
6 likes1 comment
review
Unabridged
Two Can Keep a Secret | Karen M. Mcmanus
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Karen M. McManus's Two Can Keep a Secret is a worthy follow-up to her first book One of Us Is Lying (which I loved!). In this excellent YA mystery, Ellery and her twin Ezra move to their mother's hometown, the site of several murders of young woman (including their mother Sadie's twin sister). The narrative alternates between Ellery and hometown boy Malcolm, whose older brother was a suspect in one of the murders. (continued in comments)

Unabridged The plot unravels with perfect pacing as true crime fan Ellery develops theory after theory about both who is currently terrorizing the town and who committed the earlier crimes. McManus balances strong character development with an engaging and suspenseful plot. Great read!⠀

Have you read Two Can Keep a Secret? What YA Mystery would you recommend?
1mo
marleed I liked both books and looking forward to the next which should surely begin with Three! 1mo
Unabridged @marleed I thought so too, but she just announced the new one—it‘s a follow up to One of Us Is Lying called One of Us Is Next. Looks great! 1mo
marleed @Unabridged ohhhh, I can‘t wait! 1mo
jenniferajanes I liked both books too, although Two Can Keep a Secret is by far my favorite! 1mo
12 likes5 comments
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Unabridged
Bookworm | Karen Emigh
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Oh, friends, we had so much fun recording our most recent Unabridged Short in which we both rant and confess the problems that plague us as bookworms. Take a listen, and then let us know: which bookworm problems are you fighting?

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Walter Mosley's The Man in My Basement is a fascinating, twisted, and strange novel. (I recommend listening to the audiobook--Ernie Hudson does a FABULOUS job narrating.) Charles Blakely is desperate after being fired from his job. After digging farther into debt and depression, and in danger of losing his house, Blakely receives an odd offer from a white man named Anniston Bennet. (continued in comments)

Unabridged Bennet wants to pay Charles $50,000 to live in his basement for a summer. Initially, Charles doesn't consider the offer, but eventually he accepts. What results is a strange relationship that causes Charles to reconsider his family's role in the history of Black Americans, his own strengths, and the nature of love and morality. I really enjoyed Mosley's mastery of storytelling and the twists of the novel's plot. 1mo
Tamra It was weirdly absorbing! 1mo
Unabridged @Tamra I totally agree! I was so drawn in. 1mo
MoniqueReads305 Mosley's non-mystery writing is really imaginative. If you haven't read it yet The Last Ptolemu Grey is really good. The audiobook version is awesome. 1mo
Unabridged @MoniqueReads305 Thanks for the recommendation! I had only read one book (a mystery) by Walter Mosley, so this definitely was a surprise. 1mo
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Unabridged
As Kismet Would Have It | Sandhya Menon
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If you loved Sandhya Menon's When Dimple Met Rishi, you should pick up this sweet ⠀
"sequel story." It's pretty light, but it was so nice to revisit these characters.⠀

Has anyone else read As Kismet Would Have It?

suzisteffen Noooo but I want to! *flies to Kobo* 1mo
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Steve Sheinkin is a master of YA nonfiction. As in Most Dangerous, he examines a small moment to draw larger conclusions about the U.S. In this case, Sheinkin's focus is a early 1900s football team that came both to revolutionize football and to communicate much about the place of Native Americans in modern America. Jim Thorpe, the star of the team, had been removed from his family as part of the greater cultural attempt (continued in comments)

Unabridged to remove Indian children from their families and integrate them. Coached by Pop Warner, Thorpe leads the team as they take on elite schools who represent the height of American culture. The narrative style of the book makes it a great YA read, and I appreciated the narration in the audiobook.

Has anyone else read any books by Steve Sheinkin? Which would you recommend?
1mo
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I had to pause because THIS moment gave me major The Name of the Wind vibes: ⠀

“'What have you been doing the last few years, Tracker?'⠀
'Too much and too little,' I said.⠀
'Tell me.'⠀
These are the stories I told the Leopard as I drank wine and he drank masuku beer at Kulikulo Inn" (105).⠀

I have to say that this book has been a slow starter for me, but I finally have started to build up some momentum . . . (continued in comments)

Unabridged 100+ pages in. Who else has read Black Leopard, Red Wolf? What did you think? 1mo
AthenaWins I loved it. It started slow for me as well, but I love Marlon's style and voice. And he really is a master world builder. And the characters! So complicated and fantastically developed. 1mo
Unabridged @AthenaWins Thanks for the review! I‘m hopeful since it‘s started picking up for me too. 😀 1mo
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Re-reading Bryan Stevenson's Just Mercy was a revelation. Again. I found myself marking quotations on nearly every page, holding back tears on every page, inspired on every page. Stevenson unveils the injustice that clogs the criminal justice system. While I felt so much anger while reading, Stevenson always brings it back to hope, to the mercy that gives the book its title. (continued in comments)

Unabridged The structure, which alternates between the ongoing story of Walter McMillian and individual stories that highlight different forms of injustice, allows him the opportunity to highlight both the systemic problems that plague the system AND individual stories that give those problems a face. Bryan Stevenson engages both the reader's brain and emotions as he makes an argument for humanity and mercy. 1mo
thebluestocking Well said. I loved this book too. 💙 1mo
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UNSCRIPTED. | CLAIRE. HANDSCOMBE
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I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity, on our most recent episode of Unabridged to speak with Claire Handscombe— @ClaireHandscombe — her new book Unscripted. Claire (who is also the host of the Brit Lit Podcast!) was so open in our conversation about the writing process, her inspirations, and how she developed the four fabulous characters and her novel's center. ⬇️

Unabridged Check out the episode, and then let us know what you think! (And be sure to enter the giveaway for a copy of the book.) 1mo
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UNSCRIPTED. | CLAIRE. HANDSCOMBE
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73: Author Interview for Claire Handscombe's UNSCRIPTED -- A "Smart Beach Read" is live! We so enjoyed talking to @ClaireHandscombe about her book, Unscripted, about her writing process, and about her love for The West Wing. Check out this episode, her podcast, The Brit Lit Podcast , and her new book! We can't wait to hear your thoughts!

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I highly recommend listening to Knox McCoy's The Wondering Years--his delivery (I listened on @scribd) hits the exact right notes in this memoir, which examines his coming of age through the lenses of pop culture and religion. Knox is a smart, drily funny guy, and his insight and honesty are on display through every moment of the book. I was hoping for a little more pop culture, but I think this is a great pick for fans of The Popcast!

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Red, White & Royal Blue | Casey McQuiston
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Thanks to #Partner @NetGalley for the digital ARC of Casey McQuiston‘s Red, White, & Royal Blue in exchange for an honest review. The book releases today(!), May 14th. I absolutely adored this novel. McQuiston does a beautiful job building intriguing, realistic, nuanced characters who are relatable, even though they‘re in the White House and Buckingham Palace. The romance is the perfect balance of steamy and tender, (continued in comments)

Unabridged and the subplots behind the main storyline are thoughtful and brilliant. I picked up my Kindle, not knowing what to expect, and had a hard time putting it down. Please pick up Red, White, & Royal Blue as soon as you can . . . and love it as much as I do. (You can check out my full review at http://www.unabridgedpod.com/book-reviews.) 1mo
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For Ta-Nehisi Coates's memoir The Beautiful Struggle, I both listened and read, which was fabulous. Listening gave me the chance to be swept up in the narrative, in Coates's ruminations on the unconventional nature of his childhood and coming of age. Reading the pages allowed me to appreciate once again the brilliance of his writing, his ability to create a perfect image. (continued in comment)

Unabridged I admire his clear-eyed examination of his demanding and nurturing father. Paul Coates brings his children into full Consciousness of the joys and challenges of their youth, of the systemic problems in America that make their black boyhood (and manhood) so difficult. The fact that Paul also helps Ta-Nehisi find strength in the midst of that difficulty lies at the heart of his love for his father. Gorgeous, powerful book. 1mo
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Unabridged
The Impossible Knife of Memory | Laurie Halse Anderson
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Re-reading Laurie Halse Anderson's The Impossible Knife of Memory for our upcoming episode cemented for me Anderson's brilliance. This book does EVERYTHING: creates a strong, vulnerable, real teenage protagonist in Hayley; builds an amazing series of relationships for Hayley in her friends Gracie and Finn; and addresses the daily horrors of PTSD with Hayley's dad, a veteran of the U.S. war in Iraq and Afghanistan. (continued in comments)

Unabridged After Hayley's mom Rebecca died, Hayley became the main caretaker for her dad. For a brief time, Hayley had the support of her grandmother and her dad's girlfriend Trish, but then she is alone again with her dad. Anderson builds so much empathy for Hayley--she's not perfect and makes copious mistakes through the novel, but she's dealing with situations that would be a challenge for most adults. 1mo
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Spy School Goes South | Stuart Gibbs
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My twelve-year-old and I love these books--they are a perfect mix of action and comedy. We've been reading aloud all of Stuart Gibbs's Spy School books for several years now, and they're just great. Ben, the protagonist, is alternately fumbling and brilliant, and his perseverance provides an excellent example for my kiddo.

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Erin Lee Carr's memoir All That You Leave Behind is a heartwrenchingly honest examination of the loss of her father. David Carr, New York Times columnist and author of The Night of the Gun (one of the books that cemented my love for nonfiction), was a giant in the eyes of the world and in the life of his daughter. (continued in comments)

Unabridged Erin Carr, who struggles with the same alcohol addiction that plagued her father, is unflinching in her portrayal of her own behavior before and after her father's death. She has--as does anyone who has lost a parent (or anyone)--regrets, and she is so, so honest in her consideration of her father's place in her life. Beautiful, tender, raw tribute. 2mo
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The Hate U Give | Angie Thomas
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This week, we‘re talking about books that are “worth the tears,” and there‘s not a book in my recent memory that is more worth the tears than Angie Thomas‘s The Hate U Give. We‘ve talked a lot about this book on the podcast (check out episodes 41 and 45 for a start!), so I know that Ashley and Sara agree with me.

Unabridged If you haven‘t read this masterpiece, pick it up ASAP! Thomas‘s ability to shine a light on issues of social justice, activism, and police brutality is unparalleled. 2mo
marleed I read this book last summer and thought it was great. I watched the movie last night expecting I wouldn‘t like it as much as the book. But that movie brought tears to my eyes. 2mo
Unabridged @marleed Yes!!! Wasn‘t it amazing!?! And amazing in different ways, I thought. 2mo
marleed Yes, it isn‘t often when I‘m physically affected while watching a movie. I was with this. 2mo
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Unabridged
The Kite Runner: Rejacketed | Khaled Hosseini
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In our newest episode of @unabridgedpod, we recommend some super-sad books that we think are worth the tears you'll shed. (Is it weird to say that we had fun recording this episode? Because we did.) Check out the episode on your favorite podcast catcher or unabridgedpod.com, and then let us know which books YOU'D recommend!

TheNerdyProfessor One of the best of all times but totally soul crushing 2mo
Unabridged @TheNerdyProfessor I haven‘t read that, but it‘s on my TBR! 2mo
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Strong, novella-length (what's the nonfiction version of a novella? a long-form essay?) examination of Lewis's high school coach and the way parental expectations of easy lives for the children impacts his career. I've become quite a fan of Lewis's work, and this encompasses so many of the qualities that make his writing so great.

Unabridged There's a consideration of the state of the world, an acknowledgment of what we've lost, and a serious analysis of the reasons behind the changes. I highly recommend Coach: Lessons on the Game of Life. 2mo
Freespirit Wow great review!! 2mo
Unabridged @Freespirit Thanks! ❤️ 2mo
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