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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.
review
alisahar
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Pickpick

When I watched the movie a while back, it gave me such an intense feeling of comfort so when I saw this was available on the RBDigital app it was an easy choice. This hit a blend I‘m always craving in my comfort fare, whether TV or books— realism about the terrible things that happen in the world with a belief that community and humanity can help us through them. Might rewatch the movie!

Puredragonstar Yes you explained it exactly! Loved both 🥰🥰🥰 2y
26 likes1 comment
review
alisahar
Emma | Austen Jane
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Pickpick

I reread Emma after watching the latest adaptation because once I step into these worlds I just want to stay there. I love Emma. She strikes me as a woman who‘s just a little too clever for the boring role society wants her to play and gets into trouble because of it. It leaves me with so many complicated feelings about all the relationships involved, (Knightley/Emma, Emma/Harriet) and I love that it does that.

Chrissyreadit Love Emma 💕💚💕💚💕 3y
19 likes1 comment
review
alisahar
Persuasion | Jane Austen
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Pickpick

Jane Austen is my comfort author. ❤️ This is only the second time I‘ve read this one. It‘s an unusual love story because it begins with Anne already steadfastly in love, skipping over the story of how she fell in love and instead lingering on whether the man she loves still loves her back. Anne is one of Austen‘s deserving heroines, but I think I love her flawed ones more.

20 likes1 stack add
blurb
alisahar
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My husband and I are watching the first season of My Brilliant Friend now that we‘ve both finished the book. I‘m impressed by how faithful the adaptation is! We have the book on the couch and refer to it from time to time when our memory differs from the TV series but the series is usually true to the book.

review
alisahar
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Pickpick

This book gives you a rare feeling of awe— that people will still be reading it 200 years from now.

EKonrad Definitely check out the HBO show. It‘s so good! 3y
23 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
alisahar
Emma | Jane Austen
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Pickpick

#Reread. A perfect novel and I love this vintage copy my sister gave me. My husband decided we would have a race for who could read the most during #socialdistancing and he‘s winning since I work about 12 hours a day, but I did manage to finish the audiobook.

LeahBergen What a great cover! 3y
24 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
alisahar
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Pickpick

Kelly McGonigal makes the case that the benefits of physical movement go far beyond the physical. It helps us connect with others, build empathy, find community, feel joy, and fight our demons. As someone who lives with a constant background buzz of anxiety and self-criticism, exercise is one of the few things I've found that gets me out of my head and makes me feel happy, powerful, and strong. So I loved this book! 🏃🏼‍♀️👟💃 💪👯‍♀️

27 likes1 stack add
review
alisahar
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Pickpick

Loved this book— a sad but triumphant story. The beautiful Janie is first married off to an older man for (according to her grandmother) her own protection as a black woman. She runs off with a charismatic climber who puts her on a pedestal and shuts down her enjoyment of life. She then marries Tea Cake, a younger man, and finally finds happiness. There‘s a dark side to her marriage and a tragic climax but at the end she finds her own voice.

20 likes1 stack add
quote
alisahar
Their Eyes Were Watching God | Zora Neale Hurston
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What a beautiful book.

TrishB It definitely is 👍🏻 3y
22 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
alisahar
Catch and Kill | Ronan Farrow
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Pickpick

Ronan Farrow is maybe, as he himself suggests, "a 'TV guy,' perhaps a little too obsessed with seeing my face onscreen." Ronan Farrow is absolutely the protagonist of this journalism procedural / spy story / workplace drama. He's also just incredibly charming, and a wonderful storyteller with a knack for drama, pacing, plot, character-building, foreshadowing, motifs. I can't wait to see what he writes and does next.

review
alisahar
Long Bright River | Liz Moore
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Pickpick

Why aren‘t there more stories about the boring sister— the dutiful, responsible person who holds everything together and picks up the pieces of other people‘s misadventures? That‘s the protagonist in this novel and I loved a story from that person‘s perspective. Mickey is a cop from a family destroyed by addiction. When several women from her beat are killed, she begins a search for her heroin-addicted sister who seems to have disappeared.

21 likes2 stack adds
quote
alisahar
Shout | Laurie Halse Anderson
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Listening to this as an audiobook for #ReadHarder, the audiobook poetry challenge. Recommend!

review
alisahar
Heaven, My Home | Attica Locke
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Mehso-so

This trafficked in the usual detective tropes: law enforcement guy with a dark side and some personal vices ...has lady troubles.. makes some questionable ethical choices in service of the greater good. The twist is that he‘s a black Texas Ranger trying to find the missing child of a white supremacist in the days immediately following Trump‘s election. I wasn‘t sure it really rose above those tropes and the political references made it feel dated.

alisahar I should add— I haven‘t read the first in this series. Maybe I should have! 3y
alisahar This fits the #ReadHarder category, a mystery where the victim isn‘t a woman. 3y
20 likes2 comments
blurb
alisahar
Little Women | Louisa May Alcott
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Best 👏Little 👏 Women 👏 adaption 👏ever. Beautifully edited, paced, and cast. Took its time with the latter half of the story, which other adaptations rush through. The most complete and nuanced treatment of Amy and Laurie, all from the book. And an ending completely true to the real Louisa May Alcott story.

Emilymdxn I‘m so excited to watch this! 3y
31 likes1 comment
blurb
alisahar
Trick Mirror | Jia Tolentino
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Airport reading. THIS IS SO GOOD.

Emilymdxn I loved this so much too! 3y
19 likes1 comment
blurb
alisahar
Bunny: A Novel | Mona Awad
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Went to Boston Book Fest to listen to Mona Awad talk about this wonderful book!

rachelm Reading this right now! 3y
Emilymdxn I loved this so much, one of my best reads of the year for sure! So jealous you got to hear her speak! 3y
25 likes1 stack add3 comments
blurb
alisahar
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When an ARC of an amazing-looking new book coordinates with your pillows this is #hygge correct? 😊

quote
alisahar
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I was already a massive Sidney Chambers fan from the TV show and love the books even more. If only all vicars were as careful as Sidney!

review
alisahar
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Pickpick

Grandin traces the idea of the American frontier through history and what happened when that myth collapsed. For centuries, the frontier— the western frontier, the Mexican-American border, and endless wars around the world— acted as a “safety valve” to rechannel violence and deflect tensions over slavery, race & poverty. That‘s no longer possible, giving rise to Trump, nationalism, & brutal border violence. Excellent and thought-provoking.

review
alisahar
Oval | Elvia Wilk
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Mehso-so

In a near-future neoliberal nightmare, Anja and Louis live on a mountain in Berlin, in an experimental carbon-neutral house that‘s also falling to pieces. Anja is worried about Louis, whose mother just died, and Louis is obsessed with a work project he hopes will restore generosity with a pharmacological cure-all. There were a lot of interesting threads in this book but I‘m not sure the author pulled them together into something cohesive.

blurb
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.

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

17 likes2 stack adds
quote
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.

review
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!

blurb
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. 👋

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

quote
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!

21 likes3 stack adds
quote
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) 4y
alisahar @Reecaspieces That is criminal ... our system is so broken. 4y
Reecaspieces @alisahar so agree. Insurance and big pharma and in such cahoots it‘s pitiful 4y
19 likes3 comments
quote
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
quote
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.

blurb
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
review
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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review
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.

blurb
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 🤢🤢🤢 4y
Susannah Oh dear, that‘s icky and scary. 😦 4y
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. 😶 4y
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. 😕 4y
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. 4y
17 likes5 comments
blurb
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! 4y
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! 4y
35 likes1 stack add2 comments
blurb
alisahar
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Perfect Saturday

30 likes1 stack add
blurb
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

LiteraryinLawrence I wish I was still living in Boston because in person book clubs are so fun! Have a great time! 4y
RebelReader Unfortunately, I don‘t live near Boston, but this concept intrigues me. How is the discussion structured? 4y
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) 4y
kspenmoll Sounds wonderful! 4y
34 likes4 comments
blurb
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. 4y
Soubhiville @AmyG fun fact- more than 99% of calico and tortoise shell cats are female. 🐱😊 4y
alisahar You are correct @Soubhiville! 4y
AmyG @Soubhiville Ahhhhhh. I remember hearing that. And “orange” cats are usually male. 4y
48 likes4 comments
blurb
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. ?

blurb
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! 4y
DivineDiana Beautiful! 4y
tpixie Gorgeous!!! 4y
See All 9 Comments
Mdargusch Very cool! 4y
emilyhaldi Gorgeous! 😍😍😍 4y
saresmoore Lovely! I know about those staggeringly expensive IKEA trips. Worth it every time. 4y
alisahar @saresmoore I know! 😩 But worth it not to have books piled everywhere 4y
CoffeeK8 Beautiful! 4y
CouronneDhiver Pretty!!! 4y
37 likes9 comments
blurb
alisahar
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Always fun to get a book by someone you know. ☺️

blurb
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. 4y
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! 4y
16 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
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) 4y
Vblancsbooks I thought the same and I DNF it. Mahoney was so flat! 4y
alisahar @Vblancsbooks just another boring hot guy 🤷‍♀️ 4y
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! 😊 4y
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. 😂 4y
CouronneDhiver I love this story but it‘s so familiar I don‘t have listen closely... therefore, off to sleep: 4y
alisahar That‘s a good idea @CouronneDhiver.. something familiar and warm. 4y
CouronneDhiver If you find another, do say so... I‘m having issues with sleep too. 4y
15 likes4 comments
review
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
review
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!

blurb
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! 4y
alisahar @tjwill it‘s a great spot in Boston! 4y
29 likes2 comments