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akfreeborn

akfreeborn

Joined March 2016

review
akfreeborn
Pachinko | Min Jin Lee
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I loved this story of the Korean immigrant experience in Japan. The author was ambitious in covering the history of the colonial period and the class, race, economic, religious and gender struggles of those without a true home, trying to survive, thrive and belong. Min Jim Lee nailed it. I felt like I could relate to this Korean family experience and am so glad to know more about this struggle. Lee achieved her accolades and I am better for it.

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akfreeborn
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Pickpick

I loved this novel of the Korean immigrants in Japan stemming from the colonial period. This book handled class, racism, nationalism, belonging in this world where no place is home and gender differences. Honestly, this was such an ambitious story but Min Jin Lee nailed it. I really felt like I experienced these lives from their perspective. Isn‘t that the goal and hope for any storytelling. So glad to now know something about this diaspora.

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akfreeborn
Normal People | Sally Rooney
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I enjoyed this examination of a relationship through all its phases and the ups and downs of them both. Rooney does observe people well. The characters ring true.

28 likes2 stack adds
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akfreeborn
Small Fry | Lisa Brennan-Jobs
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I think this was a worthy memoir. I was sympathetic to Lisa and her challenging relAtionship with her dad. It was more interesting because it was Steve Jobs but it doesn‘t make it just celebrity fodder. Lisa uses beautiful language and phrasing throughout the book. It‘ll be interesting to see if she writes more in the future.

suzisteffen I definitely thought this was a good book, so painful, and I‘d like to see something by her that wasn‘t about her (pretty bad) dad. 1mo
24 likes1 comment
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akfreeborn
The Hunting Party | Lucy Foley
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I enjoyed this murder mystery and the remote setting but it dragged a bit. Some of the characters were intriguing and some were not filled in sufficiently so it could be unveiled at the end. Took me too long to get through this though

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akfreeborn
Pachinko | Min Jin Lee
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Starting this tonight! Hope I love it!

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akfreeborn
Looker | Laura Sims
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I thought this was a great book exposing the unraveling of a woman. At first you can relate but then she seems to be a little off and then before you know it she seems dangerous. I recommend it.

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akfreeborn
Becoming | Michelle Obama
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I am not a huge fan of memoirs but this was the best I‘ve ever read. I practiced law in Chicago with a big firm around the same time Barack and she were at Sidley. I identified with so much as she grew up and searched for career satisfaction, challenges in raising kids and juggling all life throws our way. I loved how she focused on her nonpolitical life in the White House. I miss the Obamas and am so glad to have read this book!

25 likes1 stack add
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akfreeborn
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A small essay/lecture on swearing, its history and how to do it well in life and on the page. It is an art. Katherine Dunn was the best. I should revisit Geek Love.

21 likes1 stack add
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akfreeborn
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Mehso-so

I picked up and didn‘t finish this book years ago. I finished it this time. I liked the ending and some of the Villete characters but I thought the book tried too hard to be meaningful and philosophical. It came off as forced through the characters not natural. I will pass this book on to someone that appreciates Coelho more than I do.

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akfreeborn
Adele | Leïla Slimani
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My second book by Slimani whose Adele reminds me of a modern Madame Bovary. Perhaps a secure married life and motherhood I s not for everyone. I thought the characters were well developed even if not likable. Recommended.

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akfreeborn
Girls Burn Brighter | Shobha Rao
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This book has tragedy ramped up to the level of A Little Life. Bad gets worse and you know that more horrific pain and evil is yet to come. Each horror is an important tale but all together it felt like too much. International Women‘s Day seems to be an appropriate day to finish this book. It is beautifully written but so tragic—really really sad!

23 likes1 stack add
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akfreeborn
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I saw this film before I read the book. Both are just so well done. James Baldwin has created time, place, atmosphere and caring with his language that has a rhythm that captures you and sucks you in. This is actually a beautiful love story of two barely adults trying their best to live their love in a cruel world. The families were quite different but the whole book was about love and the struggle to overcome hatred.

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akfreeborn
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I actually really enjoyed this dystopian tale. It had a lot of keen commentary on immigration, working, consumerism and belonging. I felt sad for the protagonist and her loneliness. I know some didn‘t like the ending but it really was the best possible.

25 likes1 stack add
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akfreeborn
Adele | Leïla Slimani
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My tbr pile for February. Short month so likely too ambitious!

charl08 Good luck! I loved Washington Black: looking forward to her next one. 4mo
20 likes1 comment
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akfreeborn
The White Darkness | David Grann
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David Grann really can write adventure and the obsessed well. Small book with pictures. Sad ending for this family. #24in48

20 likes1 stack add
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akfreeborn
The White Darkness | David Grann
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Lining up some books for #24in48 this weekend. No theme just some I‘m wanting to read that I got at Christmas that aren‘t super long. Judging a debate on Saturday so probably won‘t get to my 24 hours but I will be trying!

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akfreeborn
Friday Black | NANA KWAME. ADJEI-BRENYAH
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What a powerful set of short stories set in a near future dystopia that at times doesn‘t seem far fetched at all. These are ordinary events with extraordinary outcomes that seem not unexpected to those in the stories. At times so raw and painful, a really important reflection on current race relations. All of the stories were strong.

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akfreeborn
Homegoing: A novel | Yaa Gyasi
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It took me too long to get to this book but it was just spectacular. Such an undertaking but so well organized, ambitious but Gyasi executes this flawlessly. One of the best I‘ve read in a while. Sat by the fire reading this thinking about all the references to fire throughout.

irre One of my favorites! 😍 5mo
TheNextBook I read this and felt like it took me too long to get to it too... I‘m glad I did because I loved it. 5mo
28 likes1 stack add2 comments
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akfreeborn
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This book was great. So well written and partly funny but mostly terrifying. I loved the sister‘s dilemma with helping her sister but wanting no one to get hurt. Great way to start 2019. Plus, isn‘t the cover gorgeous.

VioletBramble I loved this book. My coworkers are now taking turns reading my copy. 5mo
29 likes1 stack add1 comment
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akfreeborn
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Pickpick

This book seems to be divisive-some love and some hate. For me it was well done, thought provoking and real. Clearly the author understood that there is no easy answer to the “why” and I think she does a good job with the unraveling of the nanny and her precarious position. I‘m not sure this is entirely meant to parallel the New York case and I think it reads better without having that case on your mind. Quick satisfying read.

23 likes3 stack adds
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akfreeborn
Waking Lions | Ayelet Gundar-Goshen
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Not quite through this one but love the premise of what makes a man a criminal or a hero. Not everything is so clear.

17 likes2 stack adds
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akfreeborn
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I enjoyed this read. Horrific crimes all about greed and underlying hatred too. Very sad how deep the conspiracy was.

20 likes1 stack add
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akfreeborn
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My youngest is in the throes of college applications. Once he knows his options this book will be helpful in making a choice.

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akfreeborn
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This book explains so much about what‘s going on in Washington in the parts of the government we need to work for us. This book is full of hard facts and will scare you. This is what happens when those working and occupying DC are in it for their profit and not the greater good. Wish more in Florida read this prior to the election.

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akfreeborn
Autumn | Karl Ove Knausgaard
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I started this today to try and evoke something cooler in the air. Still 90+ in Florida. I‘ve read through September. Anyone else enjoy these daily observations? They seem calming! Like my dog napping while I read.

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akfreeborn
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Enjoyed this one from Celeste Ng. She is so good with teenage character development and well intentioned people gone wrong. The issues in this book are interesting and thought provoking. Loved the presents for the family at the end.

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akfreeborn
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This was so disturbing I took little breaks before I continued on. A home invasion story with a whole lot of helplessness. Hope to sleep through the night soon! But I think I needed a good scary story.

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akfreeborn
Convenience Store Woman | Sayaka Murata
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I enjoyed this quick read. I loved the comfort the protagonist had in her routine and how incredibly she achieved where she was so unsettled outside the store in not being normal. The family and people around her seemed more abnormal than her. So glad she went back to a store.

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akfreeborn
The Lying Game | Ruth Ware
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Much better than Cabin 10. Ware does a great job with deep, dark secrets and the dynamics of childhood friends, and things brewing over many years just like in A Dark, dark Woods. Overall I enjoyed this book but kind of glad to leave these people and location behind.

elyseh I loved this book it's my favorite Ware book. Have you read Death of Mrs westaway? 5mo
akfreeborn @elyseh I have not read Death of Mrs Westaway but loved Lying Game and In A Dark, Dark Wood. Liked Cabin 10 much less. 5mo
elyseh I agree with that. 5mo
26 likes1 stack add3 comments
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akfreeborn
Exit West: A Novel | Mohsin Hamid
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I loved the beautiful prose of this book. This felt quite true and revealing of the complexities of the world and immigration especially of those war torn and crime threatened locations. I appreciated the author‘s efforts to show how communities change and all people are part of all communities even if the place must change. I recommend this elegant book. The door traveling was clever letting the reader focus on the journey not the arduous travel.

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akfreeborn
Norwegian Wood | Haruki Murakami
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What a tragic tale but there was some real magic to Toru‘s journey through his early adult life despite the tremendous losses he faced among his most important relationships. One hopes for the best for him and Midori. This book slowed my reading way down but the book was so worth it.

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akfreeborn
Less: A Novel | Andrew Sean Greer
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The beautiful phrases in this book. The feeling of starting over and embarking on adventure when the real journey is knowing yourself. Really just a great love story.

38 likes2 stack adds
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akfreeborn
Calypso | David Sedaris
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This was the best Sedaris in a while. Handles issues of aging in a poignant way while still making sure my sides hurt from laughing. My family is tired of me reading bits to them but they are all sneaking off to read chapters too! Great one!

britt_brooke I think this is one of his best! 12mo
Liberty 🐢 12mo
akfreeborn @Liberty and @britt_brooke insults from foreign lands. Classic! 12mo
britt_brooke @akfreeborn YES. 😆 I was rolling. 12mo
33 likes3 stack adds4 comments
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akfreeborn
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Mehso-so

I kept at this one because I liked the premise but didn‘t really like any of the characters nor did it give any thrill to the mystery at the end. Glad I finished but it slowed my reading down for sure.

cariashley How did it compare to the first one? 12mo
akfreeborn @cariashley I should have started with the first one. I haven‘t read it. Looks like some liked this one better though. 12mo
22 likes2 comments
blurb
akfreeborn
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This was an important book. The opioid crisis is truly complex and is not anywhere near resolved. Quinones has uncovered answers to explain the crisis.

24 likes2 stack adds
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akfreeborn
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This book is about a culture‘s stories and the need to change and grow without forgetting those stories. Tayo is so full of empathy his losses and those of others and that he perceives he played a role in tears him up. The trauma of WWII and the challenges of being mixed race in a white world and his Native World is very revealing. Glad to have read this.

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akfreeborn
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I loved the short chapters. I figured out much as it went along but it was fresh and unpredictable enough to make it compelling!

Suzze Okay, I own this. So far my sister borrowed it and gave it 5⭐️, then my bestie borrowed it and gave it 5⭐️, and I still haven‘t read it! 1y
akfreeborn @Suzze you should pick it up. It moves along quickly despite its length. Enjoy! 1y
37 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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akfreeborn
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Reading (read this) with @LitsyBuddyRead but I got caught up on second week but couldn‘t stop so now I‘m done. It was great and I‘m glad I finished. Hard to leave a story like this hanging! I‘ll join the final discussion in a few days. It‘ll be fun.

Jess7 Great! One week till the final discussion! April 25th! 🤗🤗 #LitsyBuddyRead! 1y
32 likes1 stack add1 comment
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akfreeborn
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I really enjoyed this book and saw a classic musical right after and it fit right in to the formula but that formula really does work. This one‘s for any theatre fan or budding thespian.

21 likes1 stack add
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akfreeborn
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Pickpick

This is a great compilation of the writings of Eleanor Roosevelt that focuses on her life history, learning through experience and politics. She was so ahead of her times but stayed true to her beliefs.

35 likes1 stack add
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akfreeborn
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Mehso-so

I was disappointed I didn‘t like this book more. I think it is an important topic and was mostly compelling as a memoir but I thought that some of the generalizations and suggestions re: public policy were a little lacking in support.

30 likes1 stack add
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akfreeborn
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Mehso-so

I really wanted to enjoy this book but I think it was too ambitious. As a memoir it was strong but as a social and cultural critique and its effort to identify solutions seemed weakly backed up. I think it is an important topic but I think with the hype I was expecting a lot more.

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akfreeborn
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At first I thought this book was a bit slow but I thought it would be different. Once I figured out this was more a a memoir with books on the side I fell into its rhythm and enjoyed it immensely. Ultimately it concluded by wrapping life and books together as most readers have similarly entwined lives. Now a new favorite read.

emilyhaldi So true- I really expected more book talk and was somewhat disappointed 🙃 1y
32 likes1 comment
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akfreeborn
French Exit: A Novel | Patrick DeWitt
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Publishing in August, DeWitt‘s latest is in the vein of Wes Anderson ala Royal Tenebaums. The characters quirky and sometimes endearing and others despicable. From New York to Paris Frances and her son journey to start again but are unable to let their past go. Not the best ending...

Kaye Beautiful pup. 🙂 1y
akfreeborn @Kaye Meet Thor our 10 week old Australian Shepherd. He‘s in all of our pictures these days! 1y
Kaye Our neighbors have one of those dogs. He‘s really good, always stays in their yard and I‘ve never heard him bark at anything. Very quiet 🤫 (edited) 1y
30 likes3 comments
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akfreeborn
New Boy | Tracy Chevalier
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While some elements didn‘t work for me, Chevalier captured the dreadful tragedy that unfolds for Othello and transposed it to sixth graders in DC in the ‘70‘s. I love the Hogarth renditions and Othello is a favorite so I‘m glad to have read it. Just not sure my school playground was ever this vicious!

29 likes1 stack add
blurb
akfreeborn

Great book about the planning of our nation‘s capital and the mess it was juxtaposed with the struggles of the young government.

11 likes1 stack add
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akfreeborn
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I don‘t read much true crime but this was interesting with its observations of cultural differences and the justice system in Japan. The “bad guy” is just a creepy old bad guy not an indictment of being Korean or Japanese—just a really sick guy who should have been caught long before murdering Lucie.

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akfreeborn
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Yes! We must pay attention to the lessons of history! The world is on the verge if we don‘t do something! Thought-provoking and important read for all of us.

rmaclean4 One of my top reads of 2017. Such an important book. 1y
akfreeborn @rmclean4 I t is the type of book you want to pass on to everybody! 1y
37 likes2 comments
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akfreeborn
The Gloaming | Melanie Finn
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This book is so haunting! Escaping to Africa, the protagonist troubles follow her but somehow she finds herself despite so many like her that have made mostly innocent mistakes and suffered insurmountable losses. As a reader I felt a bit hollowed out by the events experienced but loved the structure and how everything revealed itself. Reminded me a bit of Vendela Vida‘s The Diver‘s Clothes...both are excellent!