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arlenefinnigan

arlenefinnigan

Joined September 2016

There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more.
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Bill Hicks: Agent of Evolution by Kevin Booth, Michael Bertin
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I Wanna Be Yours by John Cooper Clarke
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arlenefinnigan
Money | Martin Amis
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Mehso-so

This was......a challenge. I'd seen a lot of reviews saying this was a work of genius, and it's very clever writing, but quite smug and smartarse with it. The protagonist is possibly the most unlikeable I've ever read, and I spent most of the book trying to figure out whether he - and the novel - was a satire/critique of toxic masculinity and excess consumerism or the worst kind of antihero, and having finished it I'm still not entirely sure.

arlenefinnigan And that completes the @bookriot 2021 #ReadHarder challenge for me, only slightly late. Looking forward to cracking on with the 2022 challenge. Happy New year. 1w
TrishB Happy New Year 😁 1w
CarolynM Happy New Year 1w
30 likes5 comments
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arlenefinnigan
Money | Martin Amis
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Not that I'm not finding West Ham v Leeds terribly exciting...... #BooksAndBooze

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arlenefinnigan
Elatsoe | Darcie Little Badger
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Pickpick

Can I interest you in a YA fantasy book about a young woman who can raise the dead and her adventures with her ghost dog? Thought so. This is a fascinating book, beautifully written, about injustice against Native and marginalised peoples, vengeance and coming of age. With a ghost dog.

25 likes2 stack adds
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arlenefinnigan
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Treat yourself to today's Audible daily deal. It is Christmas after all.

CarolynM Merry Christmas Arlene, to you and your family 🎄🌟💕 3w
26 likes1 stack add1 comment
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arlenefinnigan
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Pickpick

This is an excellent, and disturbing, book. The extensive detailed investigation that Rabia Chaudry has conducted into the case is remarkable, all the more so given her personal involvement and what she had going on in her own life. The police investigation into Hae Min Lee's murder was at best incompetent, and there is much to suggest institutional racism and corruption. Adnan Syed - and Hae Min Lee's family - were badly let down by the state.

Cortg My sister was addicted to the serial podcast about this story when it came out. She was in Shanghai and wiukd have friends over to listen! It happened not too far from where I live now. I tried listening to this book on audio but I couldn‘t get into it. Maybe I should try reading a physical copy. Glad you enjoyed it. I hear the lack of evidence and investigation is really disturbing. Baltimore‘s a shit show but I keep rooting for its clean up. 4w
arlenefinnigan @Cortg it's always worth trying a different format. Miscarriages of justice happen everywhere but some of the elements of the police investigation seem to go way beyond simple incompetence, some of the details are sinister. 4w
35 likes1 stack add2 comments
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arlenefinnigan
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Highly recommend today's Audible daily deal

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arlenefinnigan
Elatsoe | Darcie Little Badger
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#ReadHarder challenge 24: a genre novel by an Indigenous, First Nations, or Native American author.

27 likes1 stack add
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arlenefinnigan
Love Is a Revolution | Rene Watson
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Pickpick

This is a really enjoyable book. The protagonist, Nala, is incredibly likeable and relatable, and her relationships with her family and friends - both the good times and the bad - are portrayed beautifully. A lovely coming of age story of insecurity, and accepting yourself and others.

28 likes2 stack adds
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arlenefinnigan
Love Is a Revolution | Rene Watson
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#ReadHarder challenge 23: An own voices YA book with a black main character that isn't about black pain..

27 likes2 stack adds
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arlenefinnigan
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Pickpick

This is an excellent book. Reading a novel set in the 1918 flu pandemic might not be what everyone needs right now, but I found the resonance of it strangely reassuring. It also explores the brutal injustice of the Church-run mother and baby homes, the impact of World War One and the aftermath of the Easter Rising.

arlenefinnigan It ended a bit abruptly and I'd definitely read a sequel, and I want to read more about Kathleen Lynn, the real life 'rebel doctor' who features as a character here. 1mo
CarolynM Sounds interesting. Stacked 🙂 1mo
37 likes1 stack add2 comments
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arlenefinnigan
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Well, quite.

Bookwomble "All the guidelines were followed", and repeat... 1mo
29 likes1 comment
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arlenefinnigan
Money | Martin Amis
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#ReadHarder challenge 22: a book with a cover you don't like
I fear the 80s soft porn style cover is indicative of the contents

26 likes1 stack add
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arlenefinnigan
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Pickpick

This is an interesting analysis of the overthrow of Allende, and Nixon and Kissinger's role in it. I found it a little bit hard to follow, partly because of the slightly dry academic style but mainly due to how complex and chaotic the events were - at the point of the coup, I was flipping back and forth, trying to figure out who was on what side.

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arlenefinnigan
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rockpools I am so tempted. But I promised myself I wouldn‘t sign up for any new challenges next year. But I am tempted! 1mo
arlenefinnigan @rockpools I think it's a lot easier/more flexibly this year, some of the challenges this year felt wilfully obscure. I'm really looking forward to it. 1mo
rockpools Part of me was hoping for something something utterly ridiculous in there, so I could write it off straight away! Sadly not 😁. I do like that this one does as it says and pushes you to read a bit out of your comfort zone. But 24 is too much!! 1mo
See All 7 Comments
LibrarianRyan I never get very far, but I do it every year 1mo
CarolynM Some good prompts on next year's list. I'm notoriously bad at completing reading challenges but I might have a go 🙂 1mo
arlenefinnigan @LibrarianRyan I'm hopeful I can finish 4 books before the end of the year to complete it but it's gonna be tough. 1mo
arlenefinnigan @CarolynM do it! I think it's a lot more flexible next year, some of the challenges this year were quite obscure. 1mo
19 likes7 comments
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arlenefinnigan
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No Christmas shopping today. Not in that weather. #BooksAndBooze

Bookwomble We did a bit - needs must! Feeling very windswept. I think your idea of a drink and a book is a better one! 1mo
arlenefinnigan @Bookwomble the pub is less than 10 minutes walk from out house and after 3 minutes we debated going back home. 1mo
Bookwomble @arlenefinnigan Sounds like the atmosphere was lacking on such a wet and windy night. 1mo
19 likes3 comments
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arlenefinnigan
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Pickpick

This is an interesting collection. I don't read a lot of speculative fiction but this was a good, diverse set of stories.

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arlenefinnigan
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#ReadHarder challenge 21: a historical fiction with a POC or LGBTQ+ protagonist

CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian I loved this book! Hope you enjoy it too. 2mo
AmyG I loved this book, too. Enjoy. 2mo
33 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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arlenefinnigan
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#ReadHarder challenge 15: a work of investigative nonfiction by an author of colour

tpixie I listened to the Podcast a few years ago. What is his recent fate? 2mo
28 likes1 stack add2 comments
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arlenefinnigan
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Pickpick

Whew. Good lord. A steamy, comically graphic romance that's also got a plot line about Brexit, online hate turning into real life harassment, and racism? How very 2021. Seriously don't read this at work, it's filthy.

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arlenefinnigan
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Next up

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arlenefinnigan
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Pickpick

This is a great, powerful memoir of growing up in rural poverty. It's a really interesting format, written as a series of letters to a child she chose to not have. It describes the experience of generations of her family, the limited opportunities available to them, and what impact that had on the choices they made.

arlenefinnigan It also powerfully criticises the way both liberals and conservatives view families like hers, and it's really refreshing to hear the perspective of someone's lived experience of growing up in what many would sneer at as a 'redneck' or 'hillbilly' town. A heartfelt memoir, and a critique of the myth of American dream. 2mo
28 likes1 stack add1 comment
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arlenefinnigan
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#ReadHarder challenge 20: a fat positive romance

CarolynM Is it any good? 2mo
arlenefinnigan @CarolynM it's..... steamy. 2mo
CarolynM 🙈🤣 2mo
18 likes1 stack add3 comments
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arlenefinnigan
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Pickpick

"Don't believe everything I say, I tend to exaggerate" is an endearingly honest way to conclude a memoir. This is a beautifully evocative love letter to the Chile that Isabel Allende grew up in, painting a vivid picture of the people, food, clothes, landscape and customs, but also being honest about some of the repressive social norms, and the coup and dictatorship that forced her to leave the country.

24 likes2 stack adds
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arlenefinnigan
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Cricket on is it #BooksAndBooze

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Saturday afternoon, and you know what that means. Going to the pub, reading about Chilean political history and ignoring the football. #BooksAndBooze

AlaMich As one does…😊 2mo
arlenefinnigan @AlaMich I would rather read about the CIA overthrowing a socialist government than follow how badly Oldham Athletic are playing! 2mo
charl08 Avoiding the rugby, but otherwise much the same... 2mo
21 likes4 comments
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arlenefinnigan
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#ReadHarder challenge 19: an SFF anthology edited by a person of colour.

(walk up Tandle Hill, library then pub. Pretty perfect Monday.) #BooksAndBooze

26 likes1 stack add
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arlenefinnigan
Ulysses | James Joyce
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Pickpick

I did it. I conquered my Everest.

Well this is certainly a challenge. I'm not a fan of writers being smartarses and trying to show off how clever they are at the reader's expense, and there's certainly an element of that. It's impressive in its innovation and scope of different styles, though, and there's quite a playfulness to some of the writing.

arlenefinnigan Also there's lots of smut and knob jokes and toilet humour, which is always enjoyable. I'd definitely recommend reading some kind of study guide and listening to a podcast alongside reading this (I found the Reading Ulysses podcast on Spotify really helpful). 3mo
BkClubCare Congratulations! 3mo
rockpools 🎉🎉🎉 3mo
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CarolynM Well done! Glad you got some enjoyment out of it as well🙂 3mo
Ruthiella Congratulations! 🥳 That‘s something to be proud of! 3mo
batsy True, I found it really enjoyable only because I studied it during a 6-month seminar 😆 We all came out of it like we'd battled something together! 3mo
arlenefinnigan @batsy I feel like I should get 10 credits towards an English Lit degree now! 3mo
batsy 😂 3mo
25 likes1 stack add12 comments
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arlenefinnigan
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#ReadHarder challenge 18: a book set in the Midwest

25 likes1 stack add
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arlenefinnigan
What the **** is Normal?! | Francesca Martinez
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Pickpick

This is brilliant and I highly recommend it. It kind of feels like part memoir, part manifesto for embracing life and diversity and being happy with yourself. Really enjoyable.

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arlenefinnigan
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#ReadHarder challenge 17: a book about a non Western world leader.

14 likes1 stack add
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arlenefinnigan
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#ReadHarder challenge 16: a memoir by a Latinx author

16 likes1 stack add
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arlenefinnigan
Ulysses | James Joyce
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At it again. Saturdaying.

TrishB You‘re doing well 👍🏻 3mo
26 likes1 comment
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arlenefinnigan
Fontanelle | Helen Sheppard
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Book post is best post, and this is next level book post.

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arlenefinnigan
Ulysses | James Joyce
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No YOU'RE reading in the pub at 7pm on a Saturday night like the colossal geek that you are

Bookwomble 😄📖💗 3mo
Leftcoastzen Nice edition! 3mo
arlenefinnigan @Leftcoastzen I'm glad of the annotations! 3mo
See All 10 Comments
BarbaraBB That is pretty cool. I found it extremely hard to understand without the noise of a pub around me and the beer to accompany it! People around you must have been in awe 🤍😁 3mo
CarolynM How are you finding it? I've never dared 3mo
arlenefinnigan @CarolynM it's quite a slog, feels more like studying it than reading it. There's a lot of humour in there though 3mo
arlenefinnigan @BarbaraBB it was Middleton on a Saturday night, they just thought I was weird 😂 3mo
BarbaraBB Which you are 🥰. By the way I used this summary to keep me on track while reading this book: https://www.shmoop.com/study-guides/literature/ulysses-joyce/summary 3mo
BarbaraBB It‘s quite funny! 3mo
arlenefinnigan @BarbaraBB yeah I'm using that, it's really helpful. And really quite funny! 3mo
30 likes10 comments
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arlenefinnigan
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#ReadHarder challenge 15: a work of investigative nonfiction by an author of colour

batsy So glad Verso offered it as a free ebook recently! 3mo
arlenefinnigan @batsy that's where I got it from! Love Verso. 3mo
23 likes2 comments
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arlenefinnigan
Cane Warriors | Alex Wheatle
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Pickpick

This is an incredibly well-written and very powerful book. It really brings home how brutal and dehumanising slavery was, from the perspective of a fourteen year old boy who has to decide whether to risk his life in an uprising on a plantation. The plot, which follows the true story of Tacky's War in Jamaica, is gripping, and if I'd had the time I'd have happily read this in one sitting.

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arlenefinnigan
Ulysses | James Joyce
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Bought a new notebook. And then a beer. Having a pretty perfect afternoon. #BooksAndBooze

TrishB Looks fab ♥️ 4mo
Tamra Yes!! 4mo
21 likes2 comments
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arlenefinnigan
Growing Pains | Isabelle Kenyon
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Pickpick

This is a great, thought-provoking reflection on childhood and womanhood. Reading it today, with the news from the sentencing of Sarah Everard's killer, has been both very fitting and quite tough. "The night I found my price:Fear/ The night I found my feet/could run/and find their way home in the dark" - Christ, how do any of us ever leave the house? A great collection.

TrishB It‘s been awful news all day. The family statements had me 😥 4mo
arlenefinnigan @TrishB oh God, that statement. I'm not in favour of victim impact statements in general cos the sentence shouldn't depend on how eloquent the victim is, but that statement is so upsetting. It just doesn't bear thinking about. 4mo
21 likes2 comments
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arlenefinnigan
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Pickpick

Oof, this story is a gut punch. A graphic reflection by a now-older-and-wiser protagonist on her self-destructive choices and impulses in her twenties, the writing is really vivid and almost brutal. Unsettingling and uncomfortable, as great writing often is.

TrishB Great review. 4mo
22 likes1 stack add1 comment
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arlenefinnigan
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An hour into the first of four train journeys I'll be making this week and I'm starting to worry that I haven't brought enough books.

TiredLibrarian I prefer print to ebooks, but an ereader is great for travel. 🚉 4mo
arlenefinnigan @TiredLibrarian yeah BorrowBox, Kindle and Google Books mean I've got about 30 books in my handbag! 4mo
22 likes1 stack add2 comments
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arlenefinnigan
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Pickpick

These stories pack quite a punch. Hassan's Zoo is a powerful, vivid description of the brutality of war, and A Village In Winter is an unsettling portrait of a village community and how children can be cruel and naive.

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Holiday reading

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arlenefinnigan
Cane Warriors | Alex Wheatle
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#ReadHarder challenge 14: a realistic YA book not set in the US, UK or Canada

23 likes1 stack add
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arlenefinnigan
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Pickpick

This is a lovely book. The struggles the protagonist, Avery, has with her anxiety are described vividly and are really relatable, you find yourself really rooting for her. The characters are so likeable (apart from the ones who aren't, because schoolkids can be horrible) and it's so enjoyable watching their friendships develop. And there's a cat.

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Too cute!! 😽 4mo
28 likes1 comment
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arlenefinnigan
What the **** is Normal?! | Francesca Martinez
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#ReadHarder challenge 12: an own voices book about disability

19 likes1 stack add
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arlenefinnigan
High-rise Mystery | Sharna Jackson
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Pickpick

This is a really enjoyable page turner. The protagonists are two really cool, smart sisters who are really witty and likeable. The setting - the Tri, a high rise estate in London - is like a character in itself, and it's really interesting how the author describes the community there and how it's seen by the police and the media. A fast-paced plot and lively dialogue, this is a good fun read.

rockpools It was so well done! I‘m looking forward to reading the next one. 4mo
26 likes1 comment
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arlenefinnigan
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#ReadHarder challenge 10: a children's book that centres a disabled character but not their disability

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arlenefinnigan
Red, White & Royal Blue | Casey McQuiston
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Pickpick

This is a really fun escapist read. The plot is really fast paced and full of drama, and the writing is funny, quirky and quite sweet. And I absolutely love that they made Prince Harry gay (they don't actually even change his name). A really enjoyable feel-good romance.

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arlenefinnigan
High-rise Mystery | Sharna Jackson
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#ReadHarder challenge 9: a middle grade mystery.

18 likes1 stack add
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arlenefinnigan
My Mess is a Bit of a Life | Georgia Pritchett
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Pickpick

This is a really funny, and at times moving, account of Georgia Pritchett's struggles with anxiety, kind of like a more quiet, reserved, English version of Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson. She describes her childhood, her career as a comedy writer (which sounds like a brilliant job but she highlights the challenges of being the only woman in the room), and becoming a mother. It's all very witty and charming.