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amycollard

amycollard

Joined April 2016

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amycollard
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Pickpick

I‘ve been meaning to read this for several years and so glad I did! This deep dive into the friendship of Elena and Lila, two girls growing up in a poor neighborhood of Naples in the 1950‘s, is mesmerizing. It‘s different than so many things I‘ve read. Even though I didn‘t always like Lila or many of the things that went on in their neighborhood, I was pulled in quickly. This is book 1 of the Neapolitan series, and I‘m looking forward to the rest!

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amycollard
Recursion | Blake Crouch
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Wow! This book blew my mind. Really good, really crazy. Mind-boggling trying to follow different timelines and figure out what the heck is happening! Really makes you think about time and memory and what is reality. Plus it‘s just a fast paced thriller.

17 likes2 stack adds
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amycollard
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Pickpick

Loved this one! It‘s a great courtroom drama which is full of interesting characters and subjects - including special needs children, parenting issues, alternative treatments to autism, life as an immigrant coming to America and how it affects a family. It‘s told in multiple points of view. I thought the ending/answer to who really did it was a little complicated. But overall this was just a really well done story!

Jenken1998 It was a great read! Loved it ❤ 5mo
16 likes1 comment
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amycollard
Golden State | Ben Winters
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Really enjoyed this dystopian-type police procedural. It‘s set in a sort of futuristic California (though that name is never mentioned) where telling the truth is all-important and telling a lie will get you sent to jail. Society is based on confirming facts and keeping strict documentation of what happened. It has echoes of 1984 and Fahrenheit 451, but also has a playfulness about it that kept it from getting too dark. Weird ending but I loved it

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amycollard
Eventide | Kent Haruf
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Kent Haruf had a way with words. This is the second book in a series about a community in Holt, Colorado. His writing is simple, almost plain (and no quotation marks!) but somehow it‘s just so beautiful. I didn‘t like this one quite as much as Plainsong; it was so sad, and a bit darker. But there‘s a quiet peace about his books that I just love. I‘m trying to savor them slowly since he passed away and won‘t be writing more.

Tamra He certainly did. 6mo
4 likes1 stack add1 comment
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amycollard
The Current: A Novel | Tim Johnston
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Just finished this one and really enjoyed it. It feels a bit like a thriller but more literary, a bit more slow and thoughtful. At first I was a little confused as he started to introduce some different timelines (although he doesn‘t specify , so you‘re trying to figure it out ). But once I kept going it made sense. Well written, well developed characters. Just a great book! (although the ending left some questions unanswered).

7 likes1 stack add
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amycollard
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Pickpick

I‘m enjoying slowly reading through this series. This is number 3, and I continue to love Inspector Gamache and the village of Three Pines. There are some strange elements and weird writing occasionally but I still find it cozy and entertaining. Interesting to get more backstory on Gamache and the scandal at the Surete as well. And I especially love all the descriptions of the food! I hear that the series gets better after #4, so we‘ll see!

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amycollard
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Pickpick

Loved this book. A Jesuit priest who works with gang members in L.A. tells stories about what he‘s learned and experienced through the process. It‘s a bit rambling, no specific plot. But you get a real feel for the lives of these individuals and how to see them as people, rather than just “gang members”. Beautiful , even funny at times, inspiring.

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amycollard
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A short but excellent book, to help as I continue to try to educate myself more about racial justice issues. This is part memoir, part exploration of being a black woman in America. But particularly from a Christian perspective, and showing how the Church and faith community in general has such difficulty coming to terms with this issue honestly.

6 likes1 stack add
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amycollard
Things Fall Apart | Chinua Achebe
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Such a short but powerful book. We are dropped into a pre-colonial Igbo tribe (modern day Nigeria?) and through the life of the main character Onkonkwo we become fully immersed in the culture, traditions and every day lives of these people. Of course we have an uneasy feeling that it will not end well, and 3/4 in when the first white men arrive that feeling intensifies. The writing is simple, but the story is complex and forces you to think.

8 likes1 stack add
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amycollard
Peace Like a River | Leif Enger
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This is another one of my favorite reads of 2018. Loved it! Set in the Midwest in the 1960‘s, there‘s just something about it that is so sweet and loving. I know it might not be for everyone but it was the perfect book at the perfect time for me, and I still get happy feelings remembering it even though I finished it a few months ago.

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amycollard
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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So beautiful! I finished this several months ago but this was one of my favorite books I‘ve read this year. Somehow Mirza captured the uniqueness of an immigrant family experience while making them feel so relatable that I felt they could have been part of my family. It‘s so sad, but so beautiful. I loved it.

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amycollard
In the Woods | Tana French
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My first time reading Tana French! It was definitely a success. Loved this crime/detective/thriller. It‘s not perfect (it‘s pretty long and some sections go on a little longer than they really need to, a bit of hokey writing here and there), but I love that it was complex and delved deep into the characters. The ending didn‘t wrap up things in quite the way I hoped but still the last section had me hooked. I‘m impressed that this was her debut!

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amycollard
Anne of Ingleside | Lucy Maud Montgomery
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A peek at my 12-year-old‘s bookshelves. She‘s been reading through the Anne of Green Gables series super fast and she‘s loving them. She‘s currently reading Anne of Ingleside and it‘s making me want to go back and read the series again!

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amycollard
Sunburn | Laura Lippman
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I enjoyed this one, my first time reading any Laura Lippman. Some call it a thriller, but I think it‘s more of a slow burn than that. It‘s got a noir feel to it - with private detectives and people with secrets and dark pasts. Set in Delaware and the outskirts of Baltimore in the 1990‘s. It keeps you guessing, wondering who you can trust. A good read.

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amycollard
The Great Alone | Kristin Hannah
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Leni and her parents move to a remote area of Alaska in the 1970‘s to make a new start. Things don‘t work out quite as they planned. This was beautiful, maddening, a bit sappy at times but I forgave it for that. It‘s sort of a love letter to Alaska itself (although it convinced me that I would never want to move there!)

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amycollard
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Mehso-so

Liked it ok, but didn‘t love it. While I enjoyed the writing, there wasn‘t much of a plot. This doesn‘t always scare me off - I love a long, character driven novel. But it just left something to be desired, I can‘t really put my finger on it. I think some people would love it. I was hoping I would like it a lot more than I did. Love that cover, though !

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amycollard
An American Marriage | Tayari Jones
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This book! So good, but so devastating! I went through every emotion, including becoming so angry and then bawling my eyes out. It made me mad but it was beautiful at the same time. It gives a glimpse into the issues such as the incarceration of black men in America, but really it‘s about a marriage and what happens when it‘s really put to the test. Definitely interested to find out what else Tayari Jones has written. (Beautiful cover too!)

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amycollard
Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha | Roddy Doyle
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Bought this book while we were in Dublin. It takes a bit to adjust to the writing - you‘re being told everything from a kid‘s point of view. It‘s not stream of consciousness, but it jumps around, like how a child would tell a story. We see young Patrick Clarke growing up in 1960‘s North Dublin, running with his pack of friends. It‘s not heavy on plot, but gently tells us about his parents‘ marriage through the eyes of a child. Funny, sad, great!

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amycollard
Welcome to Lagos | Chibundu Onuzo
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Really enjoyed this! It‘s not as happy-go-lucky as I thought it might be based on the cover. It has a little more depth to it, but I really liked seeing this random group of people come together as they head to Lagos. It shows a fascinating picture of Nigeria - including the political corruption, the different religions and classes of people and desire for a better life. I grew to love Chike and loved learning about another part of the world.

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amycollard
The Queen of Hearts | Kimmery Martin
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This was super fun. I‘ve heard various people compare it to “Grey‘s Anatomy in book form” and of course I knew I had to read it - I‘m a sucker for a good medical drama. I loved that it was partially set in Charlotte, NC (where I live). The story follows two women physicians who are best friends and had gone to medical school together. It goes back and forth between the present and their past years in medical school as it reveals secrets. Loved it.

Cinfhen Such a gorgeous cover 💜 2y
amycollard @Cinfhen I know, I love it! So pretty. 2y
5 likes2 comments
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amycollard
South of Broad | Pat Conroy
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I bought this book last month when we were on spring break in beautiful Charleston, SC - it was the perfect read because this book is set in Charleston and the city itself is a strong character. This is my first time reading Pat Conroy, and it took me a little bit to get into his writing style (it felt a little overwrought at times, very dramatic, descriptive, the dialogue not quite what I‘m used to). But I adjusted and ended up loving it!

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amycollard
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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I love Zadie Smith and will read most anything by her. This is a random collection of essays which seem to be written over the past 5-10 years or so. Sometimes I had no idea what she was talking about (reviewing art I‘ve never heard of, obscure books, or movies I‘ve never seen). But the ones I love the most are when she writes about her family, about culture and race and books. This collection is a bit hit or miss but I enjoyed it anyway!

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amycollard
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Pickpick

I loved Eleanor, and loved this book. At first I was worried it might fall in that cliche of books about “a quirky person set in their ways who finds someone to love and realizes there‘s so much more to life”. There is that element, but I felt it was so much more. It was funny, witty and just a delight. It deals with serious things but with a light tone. However it doesn‘t make light of the issues. A great reading experience.

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amycollard
The Fifth Season | N. K. Jemisin
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I can honestly say I‘ve never read anything quite like this before. I don‘t read a lot of fantasy, so it took me a little bit to get into the world and the characters but then I was hooked. Great world-building, great female character leading the way, diverse characters. Loved it. I already got the second one from the library because I want to keep reading the series.

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amycollard
Kindred | Octavia E. Butler
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Wow! This book was so intense. The main character Dana (a black woman) lives in California in 1976 and suddenly is transported against her will back to early 1800‘s in the South. She experiences life as a slave on a plantation and keeps being drawn from her own time back to the past. The writing is so straightforward and simple, yet so powerful. I felt like I was there - and it was so horrible to see the reality of slavery. Highly recommended.

6 likes1 stack add
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amycollard
Cloud Atlas | David Mitchell
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Wow! David Mitchell is amazing (if sometimes a little too smart for his own good). This one took me a long time to get through but was so interesting. Six stories, told in a structure where each is broken up in two parts (except for the middle one). Each one told in a different time period, often a different method and dialect. That long middle section was hard to get through, and I expected to have more connecting the different sections. But wow.

BibliophileMomma I just got this the other day for $2.99 on kindle. Can‘t wait to read it. 👍🏼 2y
amycollard @Tiffy_Reads It‘s not an easy book, but it‘s great!! 2y
2 likes2 comments
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amycollard
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Pickpick

What a delightful book!! I remember this from when I was young but I can‘t remember if I had read the book back then or if I‘m just remembering the old BBC TV series from the 70‘s. This is a memoir of a veterinarian in northern England ( in the Yorkshire Dales) in the 1930‘s. It‘s mostly told in different vignettes about all the animals he treated and the various characters he runs into on the farms in the area. It‘s sweet and funny and wonderful.

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amycollard
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I read this book over Christmas holiday after finding it on my Mom‘s bookshelf. It was so fascinating! I had never read any non-fiction by Steinbeck and really enjoyed his travels across America in 1960 (I think it was). His musings are so interesting when you‘re looking back at it from 2017/18 point of view. And since I‘m originally from California, one of my favorite parts was when he arrived in CA and wrote about the redwoods and Monterey. ❤️

Suet624 I really enjoyed this book too 2y
7 likes1 stack add1 comment
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amycollard
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I stayed up late last night finishing this - so good! My first time ever reading through the whole series, and I‘m so glad. Sad it‘s over though! My 11-year-old got this book as one of her Christmas presents this year, so she could finish the series and finish off her collection. She loves them all of course!

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amycollard
Wonder | Raquel J. Palacio
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What a great one! My daughters both loved it. My 11-year-old read it before me. Then I read it with my 9-year-old and she raced ahead of me again to finish it before me. The story of Auggie is heartbreaking but also so joyful and life-affirming. “Always try to be a little kinder than is necessary.” 💗

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amycollard
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Really enjoyed this one (although not quite as much as I had hoped). It‘s not fair because I had just come off finishing a book I completely loved, and it was hard for this one to live up to it. But even so, I thought Celeste Ng did a fabulous job, I loved the character development and the slow build. I felt she handled the adoption subplot really well, showing all sides of the issue. Would definitely recommend.

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amycollard
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How have I never heard of John Boyne before?? I️ loved this book so much. As Cyril Avery grows up in Dublin, we follow him and learn about his life every step of the way. I️ did not expect to love the book so much. I️ loved the writing, the font and feel of the book and everything. It‘s the story of a gay man from Ireland but somehow it‘s so much more also. It‘s funny, it‘s heartbreaking, and although it‘s really long it goes by so fast. 💘

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amycollard
Young Jane Young | Gabrielle Zevin
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Loved this one! Light and fun reading but clever and funny. Each section is told from the perspective of a different character, in some creative ways. It made me want to keep reading. Makes you think about some serious issues but in a fun way.

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amycollard
The Hate U Give | Angie Thomas
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I don't read a lot of YA but I'm glad I listened to all the hype on this one. It's simple but powerful. A way to really put yourselves in the shoes of someone who experiences race related violence - right in front of them. A young black man shot by a police officer - the reality, the repercussions, the real life of a teenage girl (who was at the scene) trying to navigate all of this. I loved Starr so much, and her family too. ❤️

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amycollard
Stay With Me | Ayobami Adebayo
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This book! 😍 It ripped out my heart, then threw it on the floor and stomped on it. 😭 (in a good way?) The writing is so good, and it stirred up so many emotions. I was so angry, I was happy, and I cried. Set in Nigeria, it tells the story of a marriage - well, I don't want to say too much. You just have to read it and see.

mrozzz Yessss excited for this one 2y
8 likes1 comment
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amycollard
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Pickpick

I was born and raised in California, but I didn't live near the ocean and have never surfed. Didn't know what to expect from this surfing memoir. It's a fascinating look at one person's life as they travel the world to remote places in decades past, chasing waves. LOTS of details about waves and tides (maybe too much for me?), and was sometimes annoyed with him during his angsty years. But also beautiful writing about his obsession with surfing.

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amycollard
Space Case | Stuart Gibbs
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My 9 year old daughter's current favorite author is Stuart Gibbs. She finished his whole "Spy School" series and loved them! Now she's on to his "Moon Base Alpha" series. I haven't read them yet so I can't say how good they are, but I do love the graphic design on all his covers.

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amycollard
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Mehso-so

This is more of a memoir about the author's life than it is just about books (which is fine). I was a bit annoyed with it at first due to her overall tone but it grew on me. People talking about their love for books is usually something I enjoy! I've been keeping my own list of books I've read since the summer of 1997 so I was glad to see a kindred spirit. This one is not life changing but I enjoyed it.

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amycollard
Born a Crime | Trevor Noah
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Really loved this one! Super interesting stories from his life growing up in South Africa. Funny but feels honest and from the heart. He's young but has already had such an interesting (not easy) life. I learned a lot more about South Africa and it was just a great reading experience!

Suet624 I was so impressed with this book and, in particular, his mother!!! 2y
mrozzz Such a good read and you're right, definitely learned a lot. I'll recommend Hum If You Don't Know the Words if you feel like "staying "in South Africa a little longer 2y
amycollard @mrozzz That looks like a good one, I'll have to try it! I just also read The Power of One which is about South Africa, so I'm becoming very interested in the place! 2y
amycollard @Suet624 I know, his mother sounds quite amazing! 2y
7 likes4 comments
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amycollard
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Loved this book so much! Which surprised me, because so much of it is about boxing, which I have never liked. But Peekay, the boy who narrates this story, is the best. It tells the story of South Africa in the 1930's and 40's. As a white British child, he's ostracized because he's not Boer (white Afrikaner). But through his eyes you see the history of horrible oppression of the black population before it was officially called apartheid. Powerful.

2 likes2 stack adds
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amycollard
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Another great installment in this fun mystery series set in India. The main character Vish Puri (who calls himself the greatest detective in all of India) always makes me laugh. And it's so interesting reading about different parts of India (and the food of course). This one deals with some aspects of the caste system in India which still has a big influence on the culture even though the country is becoming so modern.

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amycollard
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Fun story of a Chinese American family who suddenly lose their fortune in the 2008 crash. Part road-trip, partly a look at family and the American Dream. It's not perfect and the characters are not necessarily likable but somehow I was still pulling for them.

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amycollard
Exit West: A Novel | Mohsin Hamid
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Such an interesting take on the immigrant / refugee story, with some magic realism thrown in. Beautifully written, almost lyrical. It's straightforward prose but somehow feels like poetry in some ways? (But not in a stuffy way). I loved it, and I need to check out the author's backlist.

3 likes1 stack add
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amycollard
Pachinko | Min Jin Lee
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What a beautiful book! (Both the writing and the cover). Starting in the 1930's, it tells the story of a Korean family who emigrated to Japan when Japan occupied Korea during the war. It follows this family through the generations until 1989. Not an action packed book, but more of a slow and gentle read. Wonderful writing. Definitely recommend.

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amycollard
Cranford | Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
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Mehso-so

I really wanted to love this one, but it just wasn't my favorite. It read more like interlocking short stories, rather than a novel (that's not necessarily a bad thing, but was different than what I was expecting). Not much plot to speak of. It does give a great peek into English village life at the time, in a place made up mostly of women, so it's not all about finding a husband. And the cover is beautiful!

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amycollard
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Wow, an incredible and frightening book. It tells the story of Allen Dulles who led the CIA and basically made it what it is today (not in a good way). Scary stuff!! This basically covers WWII through Kennedy's death. Very long and detailed, very well written. Amazing to see what power hungry people will do. And don't get me started on the Kennedy assassination. I've never been one to believe conspiracy theories but I'm definitely starting to now!

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amycollard
The Penderwicks in Spring | Jeanne Birdsall
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Finished up the Penderwicks series this spring and I'm kind of sad that there are no more books left in the series! I love this sweet family and so glad I bought these for my daughter. 💜

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amycollard
When Breath Becomes Air | Paul Kalanithi
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I've been meaning to read this since last year but put it off because I knew it would be so sad. It was really sad, but so good. Part memoir, part essay about finding meaning when facing death - a very honest look at the life of a neurosurgeon who faces his own death. Yes, I was crying hard by the end but I would definitely recommend this.

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amycollard
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An important look at the prescription drug abuse epidemic currently causing so many deaths. This is written by a doctor who is a specialist in addiction issues, and it is fascinating to see how the medical community has played a part in the problem. As a social worker at a hospital, I see the sad effects of addiction issues in patients' lives. While I don't agree with everything this author says, I think more people need to learn about this issue.

5 likes2 stack adds