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Vanessa

Vanessa

Joined April 2016

fueled by books, coffee, and bad puns
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Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
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Vanessa
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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Thanksgiving break, Day One! I was honestly a little afraid to start this book right now because of its length and knowing that this is a really busy time of year — I don‘t need to spend a month on one book right now. But so far, I don‘t think that‘s going to happen. It‘s lovely, and I‘m hooked.

Chelsea.Poole I loved this one! 2w
11 likes1 comment
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Vanessa
Don't Look Back | Jennifer L. Armentrout
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I know it‘s early, but I had to try out this cute Christmas cup we found last weekend!

A student borrowed this book from the library & then told me I *have* to read it. So I am. After the distance-learning debacle of last year, I‘ve found it more difficult this year to get students invested in reading, so moments like this are less common than usual. Once I‘m done with it, this copy will go on my classroom shelves for other students to enjoy.

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Vanessa
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Picked these up at a library sale yesterday even though I have eleventy billion unread books at home. Why am I like this?

Megabooks You‘re in good company at least! 😉 4w
Leftcoastzen We are all like this !😄 4w
10 likes2 comments
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Vanessa
The Genius of Birds | Jennifer Ackerman
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Report at 9:00. Wait for 30 minutes. Get told to come back in an hour. Welcome to jury duty, Day 2. 🤦‍♀️

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Vanessa
Untitled | Unknown
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Not home today to make anything better than a note on my phone for my August list 😅
#bookspin #bookspinbingo @TheAromaofBooks

Singout 1, 3, and 17 are great! 4mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 4mo
4 likes2 comments
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Vanessa
Shadow and Bone | Leigh Bardugo
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Pickpick

Another July #bookspinbingo book - this one is my #doublespin .
Finished this a couple of days ago. While reading this book, I was reminded at varying points of Harry Potter, City of Bones, and Twilight. ⬇️

Vanessa So, with all this similarity to books I‘ve already read, why would I call it a “pick”? Because it still has originality, and it‘s so fun that I was mad I didn‘t have the second book on hand to start immediately (and I‘m vacationing in a place where I can‘t get it from a bookstore). My YA-loving students are going to eat this one up.
@TheAromaofBooks
(edited) 4mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 4mo
9 likes2 comments
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Vanessa
Wide Sargasso Sea | Jean Rhys
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Pickpick

My #bookspin book for #bookspinbingo @TheAromaofBooks

I was supposed to have read this years ago when I was working on my masters‘s degree in Comparative Lit. Unfortunately, there was not enough time in any day to both read all the books I was assigned and write all the papers, and I had to skip a couple. This was one of those, and it has been glaring at me from a shelf ever since. 😅 ⬇️

Vanessa I hadn‘t read Jane Eyre yet by that point, so I figured I would be missing some context, anyway. If I‘d had the time, I could definitely have read this without having first read Jane; it is interesting on its own as a picture of 19th century West Indies society. I felt more appreciation for the book once I finished it than while reading. Rhys expertly paints a picture of a place and of characters that I‘ll not likely soon forget. ⬇️
(edited) 5mo
Vanessa I have visited Jamaica once and Rhys‘ depiction of it is what I remember it to be: hot, beautiful sky shimmering with humidity; flower-scented air; lurid green vegetation and vivid blue ocean; evenings full of moths (and other bugs). Beautiful and yet at times oppressive. As the book goes on, the increasingly dream-like descriptions of the place mirror what is happening to Antoinette‘s mental state. (edited) 5mo
Vanessa My memory of Jane Eyre is fuzzy in general, but Rhys‘ portrayal of young Mr. Rochester and his bride leaves me full of disgust for him and sympathy for her. Rochester takes everything from Antoinette: her wealth, her independence, her identity, her home, and finally her sanity; he breaks her like a toy and then refuses to let her go.
5mo
TheAromaofBooks Great review!!! 5mo
12 likes4 comments
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Vanessa
The Bone Clocks: A Novel | David Mitchell
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Pickpick

Probably the fastest I‘ve ever read a book of this length. Compared to my usual speed, I basically inhaled it. Yay, summer and free time and most of all, David Mitchell! Still one of my favorites.

So good. What an adventure. 💙

ReadingEnvy I love him 5mo
TrishB I loved this one 👍🏻 5mo
Cathythoughts I love him too .. I‘ve only read this one so far though 5mo
Vanessa @Cathythoughts If you read more, enjoy! I love how he tries different genres across his books and sprinkles in Easter eggs. :) Cloud Atlas was my first and I found that one more challenging than this, but it‘s amazing. 5mo
13 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Vanessa
The Bone Clocks: A Novel | David Mitchell
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Different book, same difficulty with reading. 😜

Halfway through, still loving it.

odeofrhythm Haha so cute 😍 5mo
Vanessa @irhythm thanks! 😊 5mo
11 likes2 comments
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Vanessa
The Bone Clocks: A Novel | David Mitchell
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What better time than summer vacation to read a 600+ page book? 😆 100 pages in and loving it so far.

Cathythoughts It‘s very good , I recently reread. That‘s a lovely cover too 5mo
odeofrhythm I'm interested...I'll go read synopsis. Thanks for this!🍀 5mo
Vanessa @irhythm I just finished last night - so good! 5mo
12 likes3 comments
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Vanessa
Untitled | Unknown
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…and my July bingo card. Took ages to get it right. 🤦‍♀️😂 #BookSpinBingo @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! Looks great!! 5mo
Vanessa Thanks! 😀 @TheAromaofBooks 5mo
2 likes2 comments
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Vanessa
Untitled | Unknown
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I‘d never heard of #bookspinbingo until today, (a day late 🤷‍♀️) but I‘ll give it a try! @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Yay!!! I drew the numbers today, so just let me know if you have any questions!! Be sure to tag me in your reviews for the BookSpin & DoubleSpin reads - those count as entries for an end-of-the-year giveaway!!! 5mo
Vanessa Oohhh, I didn‘t realize that. Thank you! @TheAromaofBooks 5mo
TheAromaofBooks Yes!! Participants can only earn up to 2 entries per month (just for the BookSpin & DoubleSpin reads) so that way the bingo people don't get an unfair advantage haha You can tag me in your reviews or just let me know at the end of the month if you read them!! And if you don't get to those reads this month, you can even read them later in the year & still get credit if you let me know they were for July!! 5mo
Vanessa Oh, wow! That‘s so flexible. 😎 Well, hopefully I get to both this month, anyway. I‘ve been itching to read Shadow & Bone, and Wide Sargasso Sea is one I was supposed to read years ago for one of my postgrad classes. 😂 Thank you!! @TheAromaofBooks 5mo
2 likes4 comments
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Vanessa
84 Charing Cross Road | Helene Hanff
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Pickpick

Well, that was delightful.

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Vanessa
Crazy Rich Asians | Kevin Kwan
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It‘s fine. I wasn‘t trying to read.

Leftcoastzen What a cutie!🐶 6mo
14 likes1 comment
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Vanessa
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Panpan

If you loved or even liked RP1 — don‘t mess it up by reading the sequel. I don‘t understand how the same person wrote both of these. I made myself finish RP2 because we got it for Christmas. Santa must hate me... I hope he‘ll forgive me now that I‘ve done my penance. (continued in comments)

Vanessa After about 3000 pages of “I‘m Wade, this is what happened before and why I suck, blah blah,” this becomes a “tell-not-show” plot dump of every ridiculous techno-twist imaginable so that it can be made into another 80s/future mash-up film. Quest after quest after quest for the seven Siren‘s shards, each of which is won by characters having just the right tool in their inventory or just the right knowledge of useless trivia/skill, often at the last (edited) 8mo
Vanessa minute.

It was more tedious than suspenseful. I feel like I just listened to one of my kids narrate 18 hours of Minecraft in excruciating detail.
(edited) 8mo
TheSpineView I also was not a fan of book 2. Big disappointment!😕 8mo
4 likes3 comments
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Vanessa
The History of Love | Nicole Krauss
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Pickpick

Randomly grabbed this from a shelf. Couldn‘t remember why I bought it, or who I heard about it from. Loved it.

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Vanessa
The Happiness Project | Gretchen Rubin
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We bought a Roomba at a discount, and then it sat there for two years because I didn‘t want to take it apart to clean it, and nobody else was willing to do it, either. Then I finally just did it.
Will I sit on my butt and read this book about happiness while I sip wine and a machine vacuums for me? Yes, I think I will.

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Vanessa
Hamnet | Maggie O'Farrell
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Mehso-so

I feel like I‘ve been in a reading slump since the pandemic started, and given the rave reviews, I was hoping this one would pull me out of it. Nope. I do like O‘Farrell‘s writing, and I wouldn‘t say I didn‘t enjoy the book at all, but it was hard for me to feel anything much about the plot or characters. It just fell flat for me, overall.

BarbaraBB I liked it but can imagine it‘s not the best book to get you out of your reading slump. It didn‘t read like other O‘Farrells! 10mo
Vanessa @BarbaraBB I read another one of hers years ago that I remember loving. I‘m hoping this is just a one-off. 10mo
10 likes2 comments
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Vanessa
Kindred | Octavia Butler
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Got my little #bookhaul from Vroman‘s Bookstore in today‘s mail!

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Vanessa
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I don‘t know if it‘s the book or me, but I was struggling to begin with... though I am enjoying this more now.
Made a #bookbento as an example for my students. This was fun - I might do it more often. Can‘t wait to see what they come up with next week!

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Vanessa
Nothing to See Here | Kevin Wilson
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About an hour into the audiobook and enjoying it so far 👍🎧

Megabooks Great book! 2y
2 likes1 comment
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Vanessa
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Saturday. I‘m 24 pages in and not sure if I‘m going to like this one...

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Vanessa
Hot Zone | Richard Preston
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Welp, now I am properly terrified of Ebola.

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Vanessa
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I LOVE this new podcast by Marlon James and Jake Morrisey. If you are after some erudite book banter... check it out. It‘s not stuffy by any means — they curse and everything. 😅 Super fun.

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Vanessa
Hidden Bodies | Caroline Kepnes
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Listened to four hours of this while cleaning today... so far, so good.

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Vanessa
Golden Compass | Philip Pullman
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I have had this trilogy in my TBR FOREVER.

Happy Saturday!

15 likes1 stack add
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Vanessa
Starless Sea | Erin Morgenstern
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Mehso-so

(Excerpt from my review on Goodreads)

I‘m a little sad... I think maybe Morgenstern was just too ambitious with this one, and it got away from her. Too many threads just wound up in a tangled, inexplicable mess. She can write like nobody‘s business, and I hope she writes another book (and that we don‘t have to wait another eight years!), and I will again read whatever she writes. But this one will not rank among my favorites.

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Vanessa
The Starless Sea | Erin Morgenstern
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So excited to finally be reading this. Plus wine makes this a perfect evening.

fentonmtl I started reading it last night! 2y
7 likes1 comment
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Vanessa
The Toll | Neal Shusterman
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Pickpick

This is the most ambitious by far of the three books in this trilogy, and I think the best one. So many different threads from the previous books come together, along with the new ones created in this book. So much thought-provoking content for students to discuss! Loved it... and YA is a harder sell for me, so I don‘t say that lightly.

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Vanessa
Zone One: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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It‘s been a while since I‘ve DNF‘d a work of fiction... but this one is tempting me.

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Vanessa
The Testaments: A Novel | Margaret Atwood
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Liking my current view. 😊 Happy Friday!

fentonmtl I love the freckles. 2y
Vanessa Sorry - I somehow missed your comments until now. That‘s our newest shelter baby... he‘s a lot of fun. The freckles fit him. 2y
20 likes2 comments
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Vanessa
The Testaments: A Novel | Margaret Atwood
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So excited to start this!!!

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Vanessa
The City of Mirrors | Justin Cronin
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Pickpick

The end of a great trilogy. I‘m going to miss it.

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Vanessa
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This book is fascinating. Might try this on the first day of school. Haha! “There are tablets and medicated chewing gum that prevent travel sickness by numbing the nerves of the gut. When the nausea abates, feelings of anxiety often disappear, too. If unaccountable grumpiness or anxiety can originate in the gut (even without nausea), is it possible that these drugs could be used to banish them? By temporarily numbing a troubled gut, so to speak?”

brilliantglow That book was such an interesting read! I really enjoyed it 2y
6 likes1 comment
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Vanessa
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Also began this one - saw it on Audible, but the Kindle ebook was only $2.99 and has pictures. Hoping it will answer some questions about what has been going on with my stomach lately!

2 likes2 stack adds
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Vanessa
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(Author pictured)
Since I finished an audiobook yesterday and have a credit expiring soon, I browsed Audible for a new book. I don‘t always immediately start listening to books I select with my credits, but I did this time. I would never have expected to choose this book, but the sample was so interesting, so... sometimes it just happens that way.

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Vanessa
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Pickpick

Also, finished listening to this today. Also excellent; changed my perception of the funeral industry and made me think about how much we are disconnected from and in denial of death as a natural, inevitable process.

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Vanessa
The Twelve | Justin Cronin
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Pickpick

Read the last third of the book in a dead sprint today. SO good — I think even better than the first one.

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Vanessa
The Twelve | Justin Cronin
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Last book was a no, returning to a trilogy that I know is a YAAAASSSS for me. I ❤️ Alicia!!

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Vanessa
Discovery of Witches | Deborah Harkness
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Panpan

I was really hoping from the accolades this book has received that I would enjoy it. Instead I dragged myself through nearly 600 pages of unnecessary details, cringy dialogue, and ill-conceived plot.

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Vanessa
Discovery of Witches | Deborah Harkness
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I hadn‘t intended to read this next, but it was finally my turn with the ebook after a month on the library waitlist. 10% in. I‘m hooked.

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Vanessa
The Enchanted: A Novel | Rene Denfeld
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Pickpick

This book: a small dark gem, full of horror and beauty, death and life.

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Vanessa
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Pickpick

Yeah. This took me forever to read, but I loved it. I‘m going to have to read the next one soon, if not right this second.

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Vanessa
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Only 15 minutes into this audiobook and I‘m already certain I‘m going to love it.

DogEaredBooks It‘s really great although a little too detailed at times. Her other book is also amazing if you haven‘t read it: 3y
Vanessa @DogEaredBooks I hadn‘t known she‘d written another one. May check that out, thank you! 3y
2 likes2 comments
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Vanessa
Heartburn | Nora Ephron
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Pickpick

Finished listening to this tonight — my first Nora Ephron. Full disclosure — the writing was great and funny, but I think Meryl Streep‘s masterful narration is what really made this work for me.

cdreincarnate Agreed 3y
4 likes1 comment
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Vanessa
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Mehso-so

I wanted to love this book, or at least really like it. The Boston Globe called it “Very funny” in large font on the back cover. Dammit, Boston.

I still like Mindy Kaling, and I thought her book was fun... just not really funNY.

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Vanessa
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Pickpick

Overall, I enjoyed listening to this enough that I bought a physical copy to flip through from time to time for a little pick-me-up or to share with my students when they are feeling paralyzed by perfectionism and fear of failure. Gilbert embraces failure as part of a “Who cares? Just have fun” process - not a new idea by any means, but comforting nonetheless.

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Vanessa
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Pickpick

This book. SO good. It‘s bonkers and beautiful and about so many things: humanity, history, culture, personal vs social obligation, colonialism, politics, climate change... I think I‘m in the minority, but I liked this more than All the Birds in the Sky.

#teamSophie

5 likes1 stack add
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Vanessa
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I am all in on Team Sophie.
Happy Saturday! Got my book and my Scotch; hubby‘s got his fishing pole (and three fish, so far).

KarenO 1. What‘s your favorite brand of scotch? 2. What‘s team Sophie? (edited) 3y
Vanessa Right now it‘s Shieldaig Single Malt, 12 year. Macallan and Oban are also good, but they don‘t beat the Shieldag. Sophie is the main character. :) 3y
Vanessa @KarenO you joined Litsy! Yay! 3y
3 likes3 comments
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Vanessa
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Mehso-so

Some lines were beautiful. I found chunks here and there that I understood and appreciated. Then there was the incomprehensible remainder. I felt like I was trying to view a beautiful painting in a pitch dark room with nothing but a small flashlight to help me; I‘d get glimpses of brushstrokes or colors that I would recognize or enjoy but could never see the whole picture. Apparently, I‘m just not “bright” enough to “get” these poems...