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alisahar

alisahar

Joined May 2016

Reading nonfiction with political/social themes, classics, a good novel or two, and a LOT of crime books apparently.
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Milkman by Anna Burns
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alisahar
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Read this book a while back for a #Boston Murderino book club and now watching the Zac Efron movie this weekend. Uncannily good casting IMO 😳 Zac Efron has that magnetic but unsettling creepy vibe.

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alisahar
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From the opening of Eliza Griswold‘s Pulitzer-winning book on fracking in Pennsylvania.

17 likes2 stack adds
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alisahar
Milkman | Anna Burns
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Immersing myself in the Troubles of Northern Ireland for a while longer. In this quote the narrator is talking about how she had no vocabulary to describe her unease when the Milkman, a 41-year-old man, suddenly begins stalking her. I‘m glad I‘m listening to this via audiobook after reading a few reviews that quote its rather .. ornate sentence structure.

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alisahar
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Pickpick

So excellent. I knew nothing about the Troubles period in Northern Irish history and this was an accessible, fast-paced, nuanced introduction. Keefe weaves the stories of high-ranking IRA leaders with the mystery of what happened to a mother of 10, abducted by the IRA and never heard from again. I wish he‘d spent a bit more time on the background of what caused the conflict but I guess I‘ll just have to read another book!

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alisahar
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I got 12% in and at that point the author had gleaned not one interesting or revelatory quote from Gary Hart, despite seeming to spend hours sitting around with him, so I packed it in. 👋

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alisahar
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When the Lucky Day Collection at the #Boston Public Library comes through for you in the best way. 🍀

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alisahar
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Quote from a woman who obtained an illegal abortion. This is a book published in the pre-Roe 1960s that studies 114 women and their illegal abortion experiences—how they found the abortion doctor, what their experience was like, how much it cost, the safety and setting, how it affected their relationships and health, how many people they told, whether they would help someone else get an abortion, and so on. Fascinating!

20 likes2 stack adds
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alisahar
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Just a periodic reminder that lack of access to basic medicine in this country is literally killing people on a regular basis.

Reecaspieces I am a pharmacist and I see it everyday. Had a woman yesterday whose on several different insulins. Cost $3500 a month. And she is ON INSURANCE (edited) 2mo
alisahar @Reecaspieces That is criminal ... our system is so broken. 2mo
Reecaspieces @alisahar so agree. Insurance and big pharma and in such cahoots it‘s pitiful 2mo
19 likes3 comments
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alisahar
The Great Gatsby | Francis Scott Fitzgerald
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I have never read The Great Gatsby, which is humiliating and changes NOW because the theme of my book club this month is “classics we missed.” I loved this quote from when Nick first encounters the self-possessed Jordyn Baker. #relatable

26 likes1 stack add
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alisahar
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I love reading about historical moments like this. I am really enjoying this book and reading through at a leisurely place while I speed through some other books.

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alisahar
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Long train ride from Boston to NYC, but with some good company. I could use an apricot cocktail right now.

21 likes1 stack add
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alisahar
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Mehso-so

Ayoola is beautiful, charming, superficial, and has a unfortunate tendency to kill her boyfriends. Fortunately her sister, Korede, has become an expert hand at thoroughly cleaning a crime scene and getting rid of a body. The most interesting part of this book is how far Korede, who resents and defends her sister by turns, will go to protect her sister.

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alisahar
The Great Believers | Rebecca Makkai
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alisahar
Transcription | Kate Atkinson
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Pickpick

This is a wonderfully twisty spy novel with a heroine I would love to have drinks with. Juliet Armstrong, 18, is pressed into service with MI5 during WWII, transcribing the recordings of an undercover agent‘s meeting with Britain‘s fascists. Then she goes undercover with the fascists herself, armed with a small gun in her hand bag and her own indomitable resourcefulness. And of course, no one & nothing is as it seems— least of all Juliet herself.

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alisahar
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Reading a book about Quiverfull families (homeschooling evangelical families having lots of kids so as to take over the world i.e. story of my life) and this phrase keeps making me want to vom. 😖

BookishClaire 🤢🤢🤢 4mo
Susannah Oh dear, that‘s icky and scary. 😦 4mo
CouronneDhiver I don‘t really take much issue with their faith or beliefs... so long as the children are well cared for. I, personally, can‘t imagine the business of being pregnant 24/7 though. 😶 4mo
alisahar @CouronneDhiver theoretically I agree with you but I‘ve gradually come to believe, after seeing up-close how it all turns out, that it‘s really hard if not impossible to adequately care for the emotional and even physical needs of that many kids. I suppose some people can do it but I think it‘s the exception. 😕 4mo
OrangeMooseReads Ok, I had to go look that term up .... ew. I agree I don‘t think parents can give adequately to each child when there are that many. 4mo
17 likes5 comments
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alisahar
In Cold Blood | Truman Capote
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No other way to spend a weekend morning. ❤️

GoldenGirl My 16-year-old just read it last semester and she is still talking about it! One of the best books ever! 4mo
alisahar @GoldenGirl it‘s been on my list forever so when the local murderino book club picked it I decided it was time to read it! 4mo
35 likes1 stack add2 comments
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alisahar
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Perfect Saturday

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alisahar
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I‘ve started a themed book club in Boston, where the club picks a theme each month and each person reads a book of their choice on that theme. This month‘s theme is banned, burned, and censored books. If you‘re in #Boston lmk if you‘d like to join! The group is here: https://m.facebook.com/groups/bostonbooks #litsyhappenings #bannedbooks #ireadbannedbooks

LiteraryinLititz I wish I was still living in Boston because in person book clubs are so fun! Have a great time! 9mo
RebelReader Unfortunately, I don‘t live near Boston, but this concept intrigues me. How is the discussion structured? 9mo
alisahar @RebelReader It‘s fun! Basically everyone reads a book on the chosen theme. Then at the book club meeting everyone goes around and talks about their book for a few minutes. People give a synopsis of the book and their own analysis of what they thought of it. (edited) 9mo
kspenmoll Sounds wonderful! 9mo
34 likes4 comments
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alisahar
Circe | Madeline Miller
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This baby has been snoozing on a drop cloth all day while David and I paint our apartment and listen to an audiobook. “Circe” is amazing- so beautiful and has us both riveted. #catsoflitsy

AmyG She/he is so pretty. 9mo
Soubhiville @AmyG fun fact- more than 99% of calico and tortoise shell cats are female. 🐱😊 9mo
alisahar You are correct @Soubhiville! 9mo
AmyG @Soubhiville Ahhhhhh. I remember hearing that. And “orange” cats are usually male. 9mo
48 likes4 comments
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alisahar
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Enormous bottle of rosé = book club day! Had so much fun. If you want to join a #Boston theme book club (everyone reads a book on a theme) let me know. ?

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alisahar
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My husband came back from his research year in France with about 5,000 new books, which is quite a challenge for a one-bedroom apartment. So after much debate, measuring, and a staggeringly expensive trip to IKEA we ended up with these three narrow bookshelves that fit perfectly between our windows. I love it!

erzascarletbookgasm Love it too! 10mo
DivineDiana Beautiful! 10mo
tpixie Gorgeous!!! 10mo
See All 9 Comments
Mdargusch Very cool! 10mo
emilyhaldi Gorgeous! 😍😍😍 10mo
saresmoore Lovely! I know about those staggeringly expensive IKEA trips. Worth it every time. 10mo
alisahar @saresmoore I know! 😩 But worth it not to have books piled everywhere 10mo
CoffeeK8 Beautiful! 10mo
CouronneDhiver Pretty!!! 10mo
37 likes9 comments
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alisahar
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Always fun to get a book by someone you know. ☺️

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alisahar
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Reading a book by a minister who was a prominent leader in the anti-abortion movement— he physically and illegally blocked access to abortion clinics and has since moderated his views. Note— he was not forced or pressured into this movement. He literally led it so the line “a script written by someone else” set me off. I wrote a note: “MAN YOU WROTE THE $&@?! SCRIPT!” There are moments when I feel like he‘s really failing to own what he did.

wanderinglynn 😣 Sad that people justify their actions by blaming someone else. Sure, maybe he was following the script that someone else started (presuming he wasn‘t the original leader of the anti-abortion movement), but he willingly participated. So it doesn‘t really matter who started it. Own your mistakes dude. 10mo
alisahar @wanderinglynn Totally agree. I think it may be fair to say he was one of the original leaders though ... He was blocking clinics in the ‘90s. He talks a lot about pressure from donors BUT he also turned people into donors by terrifying them! 10mo
16 likes1 stack add2 comments
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alisahar
Himself: A Novel | Jess Kidd
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Mehso-so

A handsome stranger shows up in a small Irish town, trying to find out what happened to his mother, an unwed and ostracized teenager who suddenly disappeared when he was a baby. I don‘t have much substantive criticism of this book— it just couldn‘t hold my attention. There are some vivid, well-drawn secondary older women characters but I didn‘t find the central male character that interesting. Lots of magical realism, which isn‘t my thing.

alisahar If I remember right, I got this book because I‘m really interested in the treatment of unwed mothers and their children in Ireland but it wasn‘t what I was expecting. (edited) 10mo
Vblancsbooks I thought the same and I DNF it. Mahoney was so flat! 2mo
alisahar @Vblancsbooks just another boring hot guy 🤷‍♀️ 2mo
18 likes3 comments
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alisahar
Himself: A Novel | Jess Kidd
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Today‘s zen audiobook listening spot: the Fens in #Boston while I wait for a movie at the MFA French Film Festival. I was supposed to do #24in48 but I only read 4 hours the first day and then forgot to restart my stopwatch at some point in day 2. Enjoying a quiet no-pressure, no-goals reading day instead.

DivineDiana Lovely! Enjoy your day! 😊 10mo
37 likes1 comment
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alisahar
Insomnia | Jilliane Hoffman
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So I‘m having trouble sleeping and just downloaded an audiobook that I‘m hoping will put me straight to sleep. Does that work for anyone else and what are your recommendations for the most soporific audiobooks of all time? 😴 💤

sprainedbrain I can‘t think of any to recommend for this, but your post made me giggle! I can‘t allow myself to listen to any books while lying down or I will fall asleep. 😂 10mo
CouronneDhiver I love this story but it‘s so familiar I don‘t have listen closely... therefore, off to sleep: 10mo
alisahar That‘s a good idea @CouronneDhiver.. something familiar and warm. 10mo
CouronneDhiver If you find another, do say so... I‘m having issues with sleep too. 10mo
15 likes4 comments
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alisahar
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Mehso-so

A little disappointed in this book. I got it because Mary Frances Berry is the real deal— a leader in social movements and civil rights her entire life. It‘s strongest when she brings her own experience and leadership into the picture but much of the book reads like a series of Wikipedia entries. I was hoping for analysis on what makes a movement effective but it was largely a laundry list of various protests.

27 likes1 comment
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alisahar
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Pickpick

I‘m doing so bad with reviewing the books I finish. 😞So, after finishing The Likeness, I wasn‘t sure I wanted to spend the next book totally in the company of Frank Mackey but he won me over, like he does everyone. What a devilish, dangerous, charming character. French did such a wonderful job capturing how a man could always be poised on the knife edge of violence and end up (mostly) on the right side, despite all the demons in his past.

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alisahar
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My great-grandmother was full Irish— by all accounts the tough, working-class kind of which Frank Mackey was born— and my grandfather sang lots of Irish songs like this one. That must be part of why I like Tana French. And when it comes to my maudlin melancholic streak, sure, don‘t I come by it honestly!

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alisahar
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Taking my audiobook and notes to Allium Market, a lovely Coolidge Corner cafe in #Brookline, while I wait for my RGB showing. (P.S. Yes, I shamelessly moved the 💐 to take this pic.)

tjwill Nice picture! I used to work in Brookline when I lived in Boston. Loved Coolidge Corner! 11mo
alisahar @tjwill it‘s a great spot in Boston! 11mo
29 likes2 comments
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alisahar
Likeness | Tana French
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Doing the crosstitch and audiobook thing. Should probably introduce some non-gray colors into my decorating palette? 🤔

knittedgnome I'm your opposite. I need to introduce some neutrals! 11mo
DivineDiana Well done! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 11mo
CoffeeK8 Beautiful! 11mo
alisahar Thanks @DivineDiana @coffeek8! It takes so long! 11mo
ReadingEnvy So pretty! 11mo
28 likes2 stack adds5 comments
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alisahar
Boston Girl | Anita Diamant
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Looking for Litsyers in #Boston! I was part of a themed book club in Paris and really want to bring the idea back to Boston. The concept: you pick a theme (like sci-fi, books by women, etc) and then everyone reads a book of their choice on that theme. Get together, drink 🍷 of course, and each person talks about the book they read. Really fun way to read what you want and get introduced to new books. Comment on this post if you‘re interested!

Colly_Beau I'm a few minutes south of Providence, but I would totally be interested in taking the short train ride to Boston for something like this! 11mo
alisahar Awesome @Colly_Beau! I went ahead and started a Facebook group: https://m.facebook.com/groups/bostonbooks Feel free to invite anyone you think might be interested! 11mo
tpixie Awesome idea! Have fun!!! ( from Kansas) (edited) 11mo
danimgill This is such a cool idea! Definitely gonna join the facebook group 😊 11mo
27 likes4 comments
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alisahar
End of the Affair | Graham Greene
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I keep accidentally reading super Catholic books. 🤔

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alisahar
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Pickpick

This book snuck up on me. I was complaining that nothing happened in it except for priests traveling to different places, and then suddenly I found it moving me to tears. Passages like this made me unexpectedly homesick for New Mexico. Nothing much does happen, except two fundamentally decent people spend their lives in service and then die in their old age, respected and loved. But when you think about it, that‘s a pretty beautiful story.

RebelReader I listened to this on audio and I just loved all the characters he met along his travels. It‘s a slow burner, but I love Cather and want to visit Red Cloud, NE. 11mo
alisahar @RebelReader It would have been great on audio! I read it in e-book. 11mo
31 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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alisahar
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For this native New Mexican, the descriptions of New Mexico alone make the book worth reading. Such a perfect, beautiful description.

Readerann This makes me think of the Georgia O‘Keefe museum in Santa Fe. Such beautiful paintings. 11mo
alisahar @Readerann New Mexico is inspiring— the “land of enchantment.” 11mo
21 likes2 comments
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alisahar
84 Charing Cross Road | Helene Hanff
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We‘re on Charing Cross Road, London‘s bookstore district! I wish I had fat stacks of 💰 (and room for bookshelves) to buy all the vintage books I want.

scripturient Ooooooooh, I want all these Folios! 😍😍😍 11mo
41 likes1 comment
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alisahar
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I‘m often thrown into an academic social circle these days and this happens to me. All. The. Time. Anytime I dare to try to join the conversation, which has become not-often.

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alisahar
How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style, and Bad Habits | Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline De Maigret, Sophie Mas
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Saw this woman reading a book, carrying a bouquet of flowers upside down on the Paris metro and looking just unbearably chic. Those Parisian women!

Reviewsbylola Unbelievably chic. 12mo
alisahar @Reviewsbylola I know I‘m incredibly jealous 12mo
ephemeralwaltz 😍😍 12mo
Dolly :::sigh::: Carrying flowers that way is probably a good idea when you think about it. 12mo
40 likes4 comments
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alisahar
The Secret Place | Tana French
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Some crusty baguette, chicken soup and a good murder mystery. 😋 Tana French‘s series all feature the Dublin Murder Squad but change to feature a new detective each novel. I really wish I‘d read this one— the first novel featuring the duo Antoinette Conway and Stephen Moran— before I read the novel that‘s from Antoinette‘s perspective. I love Moran‘s voice (duh, he‘s “likable”) and I like Antoinette more, seeing her from his perspective.

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alisahar
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Pickpick

Allowing myself a glass of rosé to celebrate finishing my first book in French! This is the autobiographical story of an Iranian artist who accidentally incites an insurrection with a drawing for kids. He‘s imprisoned and tries to find a way to escape to safety (which as any immigré knows, involves a lot of waiting around on bureaucracy). It has a wry, dark sense of humor and is also a moving story of his love for his wife, who comes with him.

queerbookreader VERY EXCITING BRAVO I have my French copy of HP 1 sitting in my room and it's still way too intimidating 😭 13mo
alisahar @queerbookreader I‘d be intimidated by HP1! This one was much more manageable. 13mo
CouronneDhiver Awesome! 🙌🏽🙌🏽 I‘m getting back into some French books now too. 13mo
alisahar @CouronneDhiver do you have any recommendations? (For a very beginner reader!) 13mo
24 likes4 comments
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alisahar
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Pickpick

Excellent. It begins with the line, “The baby is dead,” and we come to realize that Louise— the perfect, accommodating, indispensable nanny— has murdered the children in her care. This novel is inspired by a real NYC murder in 2012 but set in Paris. I loved what it had to say about motherhood and the social dynamics of a person coming into your most intimate, safest space and taking care of the people you love most. Winner of the Prix Goncourt.

ephemeralwaltz Yay! I really enjoyed this one too. Great review! 13mo
LauraBeth Just got done with this one and liked it as well! 13mo
37 likes1 stack add3 comments
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alisahar
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Pickpick

It‘s a funny coincidence that prairie fires are a central metaphor in Little Fires Everywhere and I just read this book, Prairie Fires. I loved this book— a fascinating history of the pioneers and the west intertwined with Laura Ingalls Wilder‘s personal and very painful history. I came away with so much respect for her resilience, her spirit, hard work, and what she made of her life. (Not so much respect for her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane.)

alisahar Also, as a PS— how deeply disappointing that her estate passed into the hands of some right-winger who had never even met her! (edited) 13mo
Christine Yes to all of this! 13mo
41 likes3 comments
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alisahar
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Mehso-so

This was fine. I‘m not that interested in comfortable white suburbia as a setting or comfortable white suburbanites as characters, and I would say the prose was not that special. Still, I was pulled along by the mystery where Mia came from and her back story.

OhNoMersault The prose was not that special? Clutching ma pearls! 13mo
alisahar @OhNoMersault I know this is totally a minority opinion! 😕 I thought the dialogue could veer into cliche, especially at some of the parts that were supposed to be really profound. 13mo
34 likes2 comments
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alisahar
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This review might resonate with me more than the book does. I feel this way about the year‘s hottest/best novels fairly often— like they‘re birthed in an MFA classroom and are very correct and well crafted but somewhat bloodless and inert. Do I REALLY want to read something by a rich suburban kid about rich suburbia? Feels like a slog TBH. 😞 https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/nov/12/little-fires-everywhere-celeste-ng...

batsy I felt very blah about her first novel. Exactly like you say: correct, bloodless, inert, and manipulatively sentimental. 13mo
alisahar @batsy about a quarter of the way in and this one feels much the same 13mo
19 likes1 stack add2 comments
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alisahar
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Such a great summation of Laura Ingalls Wilder, by her illustrator Garth Williams.

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alisahar
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Pickpick

It‘s strange reading an author like Lorde because her ideas— original & revolutionary at the time— have been so diluted into platitudes, tweets & Pinterest inspo that it can be hard to capture their original power. (Does that make sense at all?) Still, some of her essays have echoed in my brain and shaken me up—especially her essay on the erotic, which this quote is from. Wish I‘d read this one instead of doing the audiobook.

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alisahar
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I really liked this chapter and quote about the lessons of the social movements of the 1960s.

RaimeyGallant I feel like this lesson was relearned during occupy. 1y
alisahar An ongoing issue in any leftist politics I think. 😕 1y
27 likes2 comments
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alisahar
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So I got a Facebook ad for Otto radio and signed up for a free trial to check it out. They advertise themselves as $9.99 for a big audiobook selection. BUT they seem to have largely right-wing books! These are their top recommendations in biographies & memoirs but David Barton is a bogus extremist historian and this book was literally recalled by its Christian publisher for being filled with errors and lies. BRB deleting my account. 🙅‍♀️

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alisahar
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My first book in French! I‘m so excited I can actually read this.

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alisahar
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At the Salon du Livre de Paris today, tagging along with my husband who is in heaven since he can read books in French. I‘m looking for a graphic novel in French for my first book to read in French. Such beautiful editions at this booth!

DrexEdit This looks like heaven! 😍😊 1y
batsy So many pretty covers 😍 1y
alisahar @batsy so many beautifully designed and printed book covers everywhere 1y
45 likes3 comments