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azulaco

azulaco

Joined May 2016

So many books, so little time!
review
azulaco
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle | Betty MacDonald
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I am delighted that my boys enjoyed reading Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle as much as I did when I was their age. They thought it was so funny! We read it in chapters before bed every night, and they clamored for more. It‘s so great to share a beloved childhood book with a new generation of kids.

Ruthiella I loved those books as a child too! 1mo
7 likes1 comment
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azulaco
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Love this opening.

Smrloomis Love this too! 💕 7mo
20 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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azulaco
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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The rest of my half price hardback splurge arrived yesterday. Happy New Year to me! #tob2022 #TournamentofBooks

26 likes1 stack add
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azulaco
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No one is better than Ishiguro at describing the point of view of someone whose understanding is slightly out of step with the rest of the world. He specializes in the lonely outsider who is trying hard to navigate with a flawed map. And that is why I love his books. They are heartbreaking but wonderful. Unlike other reviewers, I found this book both fascinating and poignant, with a creepy sci-fi undertone. Loved it. #tob2022 #tournamentofbooks

Ruthiella Great review! I agree, Ishiguro IS good at showing the readers characters who are “slightly out of step with the world”. What a perfect way to express it. (edited) 7mo
tenar What a beautiful review! 7mo
20 likes1 stack add2 comments
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azulaco
The Farm | Tom Rob Smith
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Hello, lovely #PaperbackSwap books! I don‘t when I‘ll read you, but I‘m excited to see you!

13 likes1 stack add
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azulaco
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Half-price hardback sale for the win! #tournamentofbooks #tob2022

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azulaco
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Since this book ended up on all of my regular Best of 2021 lists, and it‘s on #ToB2022, and I found it on sale, and I love Ishiguro…clearly this was the choice for first new book of 2022. I am LOVING it. Why did I wait so long to read it? #TournamentofBooks

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azulaco
Nightbitch | RACHEL. YODER
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Pickpick

This was super weird. Some good observations on motherhood, but really really weird. I liked it, I guess? Three and a half stars.

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azulaco
Soul Music | Terry Pratchett
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LOL. I love you forever, Sir Terry.

11 likes1 stack add
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azulaco
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Pickpick

I liked this book for its unusual structure. I thought it had a lot of good things to say about the stereotypes that Asian-Americans face, and the fake script format made the presentation more interesting and more straightforward. Made me think. #ToB2021

britt_brooke Loved this one! 13mo
17 likes1 comment
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azulaco
Touch | Claire North

Ooh, this book is so good and so original. I can see why it made the best-of lists in 2015. I am thoroughly enjoying it.

8 likes1 stack add
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azulaco
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Pickpick

This book was so good! I highly recommend it as a realistic portrait of life in Chechnya during the time of the wars for independence in the late 20th/early 21st centuries. It was intense, at times gruesomely detailed about torture and war injuries, and informative about modern Chechen history. This book was eye-opening about the human cost of the wars in Chechnya. I liked how the characters‘ stories wove together, and I loved the writing.

17 likes1 stack add
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azulaco
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Pickpick

I‘ve been working my way through the Easy Rawlings series in order. They are quick reads for me, and I like the continuing characters. The stories and characters almost always turn out more complex than they first appeared. I also like the perspective of a Black man writing honestly about life in Compton and Watts in the mid-20th century. I know some people who could learn some social history lessons from these books.

SamAnne I plan to do this as well after reading the first in the series. 1y
SamAnne I plane 1y
SamAnne I plan to do the same. Love his writing. 1y
11 likes1 stack add3 comments
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azulaco
Dark Corners: A Novel | Ruth Rendell
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Mehso-so

I expected to like this book a lot. I‘ve been hearing for years about how wonderful Ruth Rendell novels are. Honestly, it was just okay. I think I couldn‘t get past the fat-shaming in the early part of the book (slender actress gains 14 pounds and is constantly referred to as SO FAT until she drops out of the story. Really?). The characters were unpleasant in general. Did not finish.

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azulaco
Luster: A Novel | Raven Leilani
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I almost bailed on this book because it was SO uncomfortably unhappy. I was waiting for the narrator to confess her addiction problem, because I‘ve never seen that level of painful-to-read self-hatred except in an addiction memoir. But it has gotten better, and I truly love the writing. Almost done now. #tob2021

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azulaco
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Wow, #ToB. You guys had a hard year, huh? I was half joking on another review when I remarked on all of this year‘s #TournamentofBooks finalists being so disturbing, but wow. So far I‘ve read about addiction, racial self-hatred, pandemic, unspecified worldwide disaster, dystopian life under a sentient IT system, and unhappy mothers/bad seeds. This book is about the unspecified worldwide disaster. The writing was downright poetic at times. (Cont.)

azulaco I‘m giving it three and a half stars because it never really got anywhere - which was the point, and served the novel‘s premise, but it‘s not my style. The overwhelming dread in the immediate wake of Something Really Bad, We Don‘t Know What, was well drawn. The characters were not always likeable or believable. Good exploration of racial themes among the panic. The tight focus on one setting made it feel like a play. Recommended overall. 1y
BarbaraBB Great review and more or less how I thought about it. I love this year‘s finalists but this one is definitely no favorite of mine. 1y
theokiereader This book frustrated me to no end. What was the disaster?!?! 1y
azulaco @theokiereader Argh, same here! I‘m the person who sometimes flips to the end of a mystery because I HAVE to know what happened. The vagueness in this book went along with the characters‘ lack of contact with the outside world, but I wanted to know! 1y
15 likes4 comments
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azulaco
The Push | Ashley Audrain
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Goodness, all the #ToB books this year are disturbing, so far. I‘m about 80% done with this one and I‘m forcing myself to the end. It‘s not going to end well, I can see it.

12 likes1 stack add
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azulaco
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Yaa Gyasi is so, so good. This book has captured me. I got it as a special “skip the line” e-book copy from the library, which only gives me a seven-day loan period. I don‘t think that‘s going to be a problem at all. 😊 #ToB

22 likes1 stack add
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azulaco
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Pickpick

I got a “skip the line” copy of this e-book from the library - score! Fascinating tale of family ties and racial identity. If you were a member of a discriminated-against race, and you could pass for a member of a privileged race...would you? And what would that mean for you and your family? If this is representative of the #ToB books this year, I‘m going to enjoy them a lot more than last year. I found most of the books last year a little dry.

23 likes1 stack add
blurb
azulaco

Well, this one has a good first chapter. I‘m hooked, and now I have to stop and get back to work. Darn. 😫

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azulaco
The Nest: A Novel | Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
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Pickpick

This one didn‘t quite grab me the way I hoped it would. Privileged New Yorkers find their modest family trust in peril, learn to live a little more in reality, but...do they really learn any life lessons? Maybe? Still recommended for the excellence of the writing. It was on my TBR list as one of @bookriot ‘s Best Books of 2016.

15 likes1 stack add
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azulaco
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Pickpick

This book was twistier than I expected...first I thought one person did the crime, then it looked like a different person did it, then it turned out that the first person I suspected did it, but in a different way than I thought. The characters were real, by which I mean most of them had unsympathetic flaws, which I thought was good for the story. And the overall way it ended was chilling, when I realized where it was going. Kept me reading.

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azulaco
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Mehso-so

Unsettling memoir about the perfect husband who just...disappears. It turns out that young Aspen‘s perfect romance was not so perfect, as she goes back over all the red flags she missed. I felt like it got bogged down in excessive words. I actually put it down a few times before returning to it. I rate it so-so: not bad, interesting base premise, but not exactly what I wanted to read, either.

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azulaco
More about Paddington | Michael Bond
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Pickpick

Continuing on my previous review, this is the second Paddington book, which my kids and I moved right onto after finishing the first one. I love Paddington. He‘s a little bit salty, in the best tradition of British children‘s characters. I love how he gives people a “hard stare” when they are not taking him seriously, LOL! Another wholehearted recommendation. Perfect for comfort reading during stressful times, but never treacly.

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azulaco
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Pickpick

I never read the Paddington books when I was a kid, so I was surprised to find out how sharply funny they are. Paddington is a lot more interesting than the soft, cuddly creature I was imagining. I love his personality, which is a lot like a real kid‘s. I love the scrapes he gets into. I read this one aloud to my boys and they asked for another Paddington book when we were done. Highly recommend this classic!

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azulaco
A Virtuous Woman | Kaye Gibbons
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Totally, hopelessly behind on reviewing books I finished recently, but I just started this one today and I love it. I‘m almost half done already.

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azulaco
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A new (to me) Laurel Thatcher Ulrich book? Yes please, library! Snagged this e-book within thirty seconds of it popping up on my Libby app!

13 likes1 stack add
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azulaco
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I'm a fan of Tiffany online. I wish this book had had more back story on her intro to drugs and personal reasons for taking them, as that is one of the things that interests me in addiction memoirs. The flipping back and forth between past and present made the book move, but also added confusion. Overall, I enjoyed the book. It was eloquent on the day to day thought processes and actions of a pretty high-functioning addict, which was compelling.

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azulaco
Ten Thousand Joys | Frederick, MD (Bookstore)
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I finally passed 10,000! It‘s taken me years, because I am such a sporadic poster. Yay!

Blueberry 👍 2y
wanderinglynn Congrats! 🎉👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 2y
BarbaraBB So good! 🙌🥂👯‍♀️ 2y
17 likes3 comments
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azulaco
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Pickpick

I finished this a few weeks ago, and I needed to sit with it awhile. I didn‘t realize until the end that I was reading a fictionalized account of a true story. Like the ending wasn‘t bad enough...and then reading that it actually happened...well, I hugged my boys a little closer the night I finished this book. It was a heartbreaking story, and having the irrepressible Aron be the narrator was a stroke of genius that gave the story life and depth.

azulaco This afterword is a gut punch, knowing that the doctor tried so hard to reassure his orphans about their transport. It took my breath away: “Nothing is definitively known about the last hours of Janusz Korczak and his staff members and his children [...] but most likely they were deported to Treblinka on the afternoon of August 5, 1942...[A]t the time Treblinka was in such a state of overtaxed chaos... 2y
azulaco ...that mountains of corpses confronted the new arrivals, and therefore maintaining any kind of deception on the way to the gas chambers was nearly impossible.” 2y
11 likes1 stack add2 comments
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azulaco
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This first line captured my heart. I have a son just like this 😆🥰

7 likes1 stack add
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azulaco
Black Beauty | Anna Sewell
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I‘m currently reading this out loud with my nearly eight-year-old son, a few chapters a night. He really likes it. I never read this when I was a kid, so I‘m enjoying it too.

16 likes1 stack add
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azulaco
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I am slowly making my way through this physical book as I have time for it. I bought it several years ago, and it didn‘t hold my interest. Now I‘m savoring the prose and the slow pace. I like that it‘s set in Istanbul in the 1970s. I know so little about Istanbul, and I‘m comparing it against my memories of 1970s America.

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azulaco
Wow, No Thank You. | Samantha Irby
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Pickpick

I like Samantha Irby, but her humor veers into just-a-little-too-much territory for me sometimes. I dislike how down on herself she is when describing her former dating life; it‘s uncomfortable to read. I would still recommend this book for the funny moments, as she does make some sharp observations.

13 likes1 stack add
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azulaco
Pretty Things: A Novel | Janelle Brown
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Desperately trying to finish this before my e-book loan runs out, but I don‘t think I will make it 😕 I‘ll have to place another hold and finish it later, I guess. I overestimated my available time for reading.

mrsthilkey If it's on your Kindle put it on airplane mode and your book will stay on there until you get back on wifi. (it will not affect the next person in line, they still get their hold.) 2y
azulaco @mrsthilkey Thanks! 2y
11 likes2 comments
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azulaco
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Pickpick

Somehow I missed reading this in my youth. It‘s obviously been updated with modern references (I suspect that in the original 1970s version, the army vet had just returned from Vietnam rather than Iraq, for example). I liked it. Entertaining quick read, although I‘ve read enough mysteries at my advanced age that I pretty much guessed the villainous plot line right away.

ilanakeukake They revised it, eh? Neat, I didn‘t know that. I read this in high school & loved it. I think might read the revised version 🐠 1y
10 likes1 comment
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azulaco
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Pickpick

Found this memoir by chance while searching for #readyoursign titles on Scribd. The author was born in 1956 and grew up in Maoist China. I have read little about that period, so I learned a lot about everyday Chinese life in the 1960s-70s. What a difficult system to live under. It‘s so hard for a lucky American to imagine the lack of freedom/opportunity- just awful. Pisces prompts 4 & 6 (water in title, water lily on cover). ♓️ #Pisces

Clwojick 💚💚💚 2y
11 likes1 comment
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azulaco
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Pickpick

I read this because it‘s the basis for the series “Harlots” on Hulu, which I love. It was interesting, though disheartening re women‘s lives in the 18th century. Audiobook narration was good. #readyoursign ♓️ prompt 11 (a prompt from ♍️ list) - Jack Harris was a master waiter/pimp and incredibly organized, keeping the details of hundreds of customers and ladies straight in order to match them up well, and collecting money from every one.

Clwojick 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 2y
18 likes1 stack add1 comment
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azulaco
The Broken Girls | Simone St James
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Pickpick

I‘m seeing some criticism of this book from other reviewers, but I liked this book. I thought the ghost story parts were good and creepy. Yes, one of the murder investigations used a slightly unbelievable coincidence. The other took a turn I really didn‘t see coming, also unbelievable, but in a nightmarish, I-can‘t-believe-this-is-happening way, so it worked for me. I‘ll read more by this author. #readyoursign #pisces prompt #7.

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azulaco
Passenger to Frankfurt | Agatha Christie
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Mehso-so

Not one of Mrs. Christie‘s better books. The plot was a real stretch, and hard to follow. Thank goodness I did the audio book while doing other stuff. I might not have finished it otherwise. This hits three prompts for #pisces #readyoursign:
2 - book published in my birth year
8 - Pisces spirit color on cover (sea green)
12- written by a Virgo author

Clwojick Way to go on stacking multiple prompts with this one! 2y
azulaco @Clwojick I‘ve gotten lucky with my first two books - lots of stacking! 2y
17 likes2 comments
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azulaco
Julian Fellowes's Belgravia | Julian Fellowes
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Pickpick

I finished this a few weeks ago, but didn‘t post about it. This was a lovely - and lively! - period story with a very satisfying story arc. I do love a happy ending. Same absorbing storytelling that kept me hooked on Downton Abbey. If you‘re watching the Belgravia series on Epix, it is very true to the book, and equally lovely. I was sorry to get to the end of this book. It reminded me of Jane Austen, whose stories I also love.

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azulaco
My Dark Vanessa | Kate Elizabeth Russell
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Pickpick

Not as good as I expected, but well-written. It‘s painful to watch Vanessa deny that she was abused, but it‘s very true to a teenager‘s conflicted view of an abusive first love/first sex situation.
Knocked out four #pisces #readyoursign prompts!
1. Published between Feb. 19 and March 20
9. Character that‘s creative
10. Read it late at night
13. Book that I thought was emotional

Clwojick Way to go on stacking those prompts! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 2y
15 likes1 comment
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azulaco
Untamed | Glennon Doyle
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Pickpick

This was my first Glennon Doyle book. I loved this collection of short essays. I am aware that this makes me a middle-aged cliche, and I don‘t really care. I thought she had some good things to say about being true to one‘s self instead of worrying about others‘ expectations or restrictions. I guess this review is right in line with that philosophy! I intend to buy my own copy of this book, to re-read the essays that I liked best.

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azulaco
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Pickpick

Another wonderful, complicated story from Taylor Jenkins Reid. I think she‘s earned a place on my favorite authors list. I didn‘t love this book as wildly as Daisy Jones and the Six, but I definitely loved it. I‘m ready to go right back and read it all over again.

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azulaco
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When you run out of time on your library e-book, but then discover the audiobook is on Scribd 😎

Nute 🤗 2y
16 likes1 stack add1 comment
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azulaco
The Heap: A Novel | Sean Adams
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Another current read. Interesting premise, lively writing. I‘m about 10% in and liking it so far.

Nute I like the cover art! 2y
10 likes1 stack add1 comment
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azulaco
Welcome to Braggsville: A Novel | T. Geronimo Johnson
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I have been slogging through this book for weeks. I want to like it, and I think it has some important things to say, but it just goes on and on. I‘m persevering.

14 likes2 stack adds
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azulaco
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Pickpick

This was such a weird book, and took a long time for me to finish. I knew that it was based on actual events, but the whole freak-show quality of the narrative was uncomfortable for me. Bringing in an actual freak show at one point didn‘t help. It was really a very sad story, when considered from Mary Toft‘s point of view. I would have liked to have heard more in her voice. I listened to the audiobook, and thought it was well done. #ToB #ToB2020

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azulaco
Ninth House | Leigh Bardugo
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Pickpick

I loved this book! It was darker and more fantasy-oriented than I expected, which actually suited my mood perfectly. I hope Leigh Bardugo is going to write more about Alex Stern. She is such an interesting character. Now I want to go read the rest of Leigh Bardugo‘s books!

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azulaco
Ninth House | Leigh Bardugo

I can‘t stop reading this book. It‘s ruining my sleep schedule. It‘s fascinating. I see now why so many people were on the hold list ahead of me at the library. Loving it!