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bernadette
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Current read. I'm not much of a cook - I try but my results are uneven - but I love food writing and of course food!

review
bernadette
Normal People | Sally Rooney
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Pickpick

I read this in a day. I'm still not sure that I like the characters but I felt that the way Connell and Marianne were broken and their stupid miscommunications and also the way they changed each other were believable. I had some quibbles with bits of the story but overall I liked how Rooney ended it. It's not really a happy story - it gets very dark for a story about first love - but still hopeful.

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bernadette
Normal People | Sally Rooney
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Halfway through this one. I'm not sure I like the characters but I really wish better for them....

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bernadette
Pickpick

I could not stop reading it. It's entertaining and very satisfying, pulling together a lot of threads in some fun and complicated ways. Great summer read.

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bernadette
Everything Under | Daisy Johnson
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Mehso-so

My expectations were too high.... There wasn't enough mystery to make it intriguing or enough suspense to make it a thriller and not enough creepiness or magic or atmosphere to make it otherworldly but the book had elements of all these things. And I didn't like the way it all wrapped up at the end. And I didn't feel that strongly about any of the characters. Some beautiful writing pulled me through but I disliked the story.

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bernadette
Everything Under | Daisy Johnson
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Sitting by the pool with freshly baked banana muffins while the kids have a swim playdate. So not ready for the start of school.

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bernadette

Current bedtime reading for the 10 and 7 year old. We loved When the Sea Turns to Silver and this one is proving to be just as charming.

I think the kids may ask for a goldfish by the end of the book.

2 likes1 stack add
review
bernadette
Riddle-Master | Patricia A. McKillip
Pickpick

I loved the world. I thought the hero could perhaps not wander around the wilderness quite so much but I loved the land magic and the realms. I wish that the last third of the book had some of Raederle's POV because she became frustrating in the last part.

If you like LOTR, The Wizard of Earthsea, or the Name of the Wind, check this one out.

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bernadette
Riddle-Master | Patricia A. McKillip
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So I finished the first book/part and it ends on a cliffhanger. I like it so far but am glad I didn't read The Riddle Master of Hed as a separate book. A lot of shades of LOTR here, which McKillip acknowledges in the intro and I like the way magic and earth intertwine here. Excited to keep going. The second book shifts to a different character and gives a larger view of what the rest of the world thought of the mysterious events in the first.

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bernadette
Riddle-Master | Patricia A. McKillip
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Just started and really enjoying. This one is full of puzzles and mystery and adventure.

bernadette I can't help but think that Patrick Rothfuss was influenced by Riddle Master. So if you like The Name of the Wind, Riddle-Master is probably a good book to check out. 3w
3 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
bernadette
Washington Black | Esi Edugyan
Pickpick

This started out as what I thought would be a slave narrative then took a turn into an adventure yarn and then I'm not sure what to make of the ending. I liked the book all the way through the Arctic and liked the writing but I didn't find the second half quite as compelling. The ending was a little unsatisfying and ambiguous but the trip to get there was pretty good.

review
bernadette
Pickpick

I remember not liking this one as much as the first and third books but liked it much better listening to it with the kids on audiobook. Still a great series.

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bernadette
Washington Black | Esi Edugyan
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100 pages in. It's looking like it will take a turn towards steam punk and the fantastical but it hasn't gotten there yet (perhaps it won't). I've enjoyed what I read but I'm ready for the story to pick up the pace a little faster now.

bernadette The cloud cutter made me wonder but this was most definitely not a steampunk. 3w
13 likes1 comment
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bernadette
My Sister, the Serial Killer | Oyinkan Braithwaite
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Pickpick

This is a brisk, quirky read which is odd to say given the subject matter - and everything you need to know about the premise is in the title. I‘m divided whether this needed more substance to the story or whether it was just the right amount of detail to tell us everything we needed to know about these two sisters, the serial killer and the clean up crew/enabler.

18 likes1 stack add
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bernadette
A Ladder to the Sky | John Boyne
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Pickpick

I am wary of novels about writers and writing but this one was funny in a dark way and I found it hard to put down. I didn‘t like Maurice but kinda sympathize with loving language and stories yet not having one to write. He was completely amoral and it was fascinating to see what lengths he would go to get a story idea. And I felt bad for his poor victims. And I want to check out more Gore Vidal novels.

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bernadette
A Ladder to the Sky | John Boyne
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I've been flipping through and skimming different books and finally settled on this one, which I picked up on a whim. Enjoying it so far. My first book by John Boyne who seems to crop up a lot on Litsy.

britt_brooke Loved this one! Darkly humorous. 1mo
10 likes1 comment
review
bernadette
Pickpick

I've been trying to keep a sketch journal and had heard about this one and really enjoyed it. It's very quick and gives simple ideas about how to take more visual notes - rather than doing all text and getting bogged down in writing down every detail.

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bernadette
The Cruel Prince | Holly Black
Mehso-so

I'm not the target demographic for this one so maybe that's why I ended up skimming it. There are twists and turns in plot but I didn't really like the characters who perhaps should have been sympathetic for all the cruel things that happen to them but they somehow never earned my sympathy. I can see why people might like this one but it wasn't for me. But I would recommend The Coldest Girl in Coldtown also by Holly Black.

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bernadette
Gingerbread: A Novel | Helen Oyeyemi

I love the opening pages and now that I finished the first chapter, I find it rather quirky and sad. Reviews seem to have been mixed on this one.

review
bernadette
Pickpick

While I didn't love the language, this is a very accessible, really fun riff on fairy tales for middle grade readers. I read this aloud at bedtime and both the 10 year old and 6 year old squealed with laughter at Connor's comments and could relate to Alex and Connor's sibling relationship. Loved that it comments on the older non-Disney tales and plays around with its own version of the stories.

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bernadette
Pickpick

Just finished this as an audiobook for my 6 year old and are now on to Book 2. My 10 year old who has already read the series also enjoyed it on audiobook and I'm still glad to say that I still enjoy Harry's adventures.

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bernadette
Daisy Jones & The Six | Taylor Jenkins Reid
Mehso-so

After my last book, I needed something much lighter and more fun so I picked up this one at the library since I'd seen it around a lot on IG and Litsy. I liked how it ended but I found myself skimming and jumping around a lot. I liked all the different perspectives and how so much goes into an album but I guess I never really got into the characters. I guess not a book for me but there are some really good moments.

bernadette After I wrote this, I heard that Reese Witherspoon is producing a miniseries based on the book. I think this story would work well on TV and can see myself enjoying it better than the book. 2mo
11 likes1 comment
review
bernadette
Pickpick

Written in the Jamaican dialect of a black slave in the late 1800s, this is a beautifully written book. I thought the language might be hard to navigate but the prose flows. I could not stop reading even when I wanted to look away. The violence in the book is visceral and emotional. The world and the characters are very richly drawn and I felt invested in the key relationships in the book even though these relationships were complicated.

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bernadette
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I've had this on my shelf for awhile now and am finally starting it. Bracing myself for the very ugly events that are sure to happen. The main character is a young slave woman with dark skin and green eyes and the novel starts off with a rather bloody and unsettling birth scene. Somehow, I still got drawn into the story even though this seems a bit darker and probably gorier than what I'm used to reading.

bernadette Just finished the first chapter and this is going to be an intense and unsettling read. The first chapter didn't end any more peacefully than it began... 2mo
4 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
bernadette
The Immortalists | Chloe Benjamin
Mehso-so

I liked Simon's and Klara's stories - they were unconventional, reckless, and yes, foolish - but they were pursuing their dreams. The pace ground to a halt for me with Daniel's story. I found myself impatient with Daniel and Varya because when we get to them it feels as if it is after the vital part of their lives is behind them or that it was never lived.

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bernadette
The Immortalists | Chloe Benjamin

It's ok so far but I'm realizing that maybe I am in the mood for something different - something a little more fantastical. Interesting to read about San Francisco in the late 70s though to compare what the Mission District was like then compared to now.

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bernadette
The Last Unicorn | Peter S. Beagle
Pickpick

Beautiful fairy tale.

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bernadette
Harilal & Sons | Sujit Saraf
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A friend handed this to me to lend to my husband. It's about India from 1899 to the 1970s and is based on the author's grandfather. Looks interesting.

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bernadette

I loved the animated movie as a kid but have never read the book. Just a few chapters in. The prose is lovely. Very suited to a fairy tale.

1 stack add
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bernadette
Lethal White | Robert Galbraith
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Pickpick

I almost gave up on this series but am glad that I read this one. It‘s my favorite of the Strike series. It was refreshing not to have a really grotesque murder scene and I‘m looking forward to Matthew being out of the picture (I hope). The other books tended to have a long spell in which the story seemed stuck but this one kept moving along at a good pace even with the multiple threads.

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bernadette
Unsheltered: A Novel | Barbara Kingsolver
Bailedbailed

Nothing wrong with it but I realized it just wasn't for me. The characters in the present day seemed a little useless and I wasn't drawn in enough to find out if the characters from the past were going to be more interesting.

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bernadette
Lethal White | Robert Galbraith
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In the mood for a mystery so I picked this up. I like the two MCs as fellow detectives but I'm not such a fan of the thwarted romance devices I'm seeing. I wish both characters would grow up.

1 like1 stack add
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bernadette
Unsheltered: A Novel | Barbara Kingsolver
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Stumbled on to this while browsing through the library app. It seems a little more melodramatic than what I like to read but I got pulled in to the first chapters.

review
bernadette
Pickpick

Such a beautiful book. It‘s about love and loss and parents and children. Couldn‘t put this one down.

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bernadette
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Just started and really liking it.

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bernadette

Leading a drawing elective for 10 and 11 year olds and wondering if I should read her first book instead but I'm finding a lot of really helpful info here.

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bernadette

Started this one for bedtime reading since I see It being read by the kids at school a lot. On the second chapter and it's fun to read the school teacher decry fairy tale retellings when this book is clearly going to play with many of them.

I really need to pick up a book of the Grimm versions.

1 like1 stack add
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bernadette
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A tough week (I sprained my ankle badly and our apartment complex cut off water for a few days) so a kind friend lent me this since she thought I might like it.

2 likes1 stack add
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bernadette
Immortalists | Chloe Benjamin
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Latest book haul. I was in need of comfort and books provide that. Will probably start with The Immortalists since I've seen so many people blurb about it favorably here.

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bernadette
Howl's Moving Castle | Diana Wynne Jones
Pickpick

Bedtime read to the kids. They laughed, got scared, were sad, and they loved it. Little one wants to dive into the sequel right away. Eldest would like to read another short book the read the sequel.

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bernadette
The Odyssey | Homer
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Pickpick

So happy to finish! I enjoyed it but got a little impatient for Odysseus to finally take his home back. The ending was rather abrupt but I remember thinking that from when I read it in high school, too.

Bklover Ok, you have inspired me! This is on my bedside table (this exact version). Need. To. Get. Started. 5mo
bernadette @Bklover yay! I'm so flattered. It's a good read with much more life than the prose translation I read in high school. A lot more going on in it too since all the stuff going on with Penelope and Telemachus was cut from the high school version I read. 5mo
4 likes2 comments
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bernadette
Howl's Moving Castle | Diana Jones

We are all enjoying the book. It‘s fun to see the kids try to figure out if Howl is a good or bad person but they both agree he is rather silly, flooding his house with green ooze over a slight change in hair color. And they thought Sophie‘s reaction to a car ride hilarious.

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bernadette
Howl's Moving Castle | Diana Jones

New bedtime read for the kids. The tone differs from the movie and explains many small questions I had about Sophie. I like it so far but realize the kids may not have read enough fairy tales to recognize all the riffs. At lights out, they demanded I read more so I'm going to take it that they are interested in the story rather than trying to get out of bedtime....

2 likes1 stack add
review
bernadette
Mr. Popper's Penguins: Enhanced Edition | Richard Atwater, Florence Atwater, Robert Lawson
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Pickpick

I read this to the kids and they loved the penguins and their antics. They were quite distressed when Mr. Popper was faced with making a decision re the penguins' fate and sad with the decision he did make but it just shows how attached they got to the characters. The book ended on a happy, silly note so quite satisfying. Good for both my 6 year old and my 10 year old (who would've preferred Harry Potter but still got drawn in to the story).

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bernadette
The Odyssey | Homer
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I'm finding that I trust Odysseus much less this time round. A change of perspective - because I'm reading as an adult this time or is it the translation?

Severnmeadows I‘m reading this too, and really enjoying this translation. Its brilliant that Emily Wilson calls him ‘complicated‘ in the first line. 😊 6mo
3 likes1 comment
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bernadette
The Odyssey | Homer

Reading the Wilson translation and loving it. I haven't read the Odyssey since freshman year in high school and so far it has this huge chunk in the beginning with a young, a bit whiny Telemachus (I'm thinking he grows up somehow) but it's been a really fun read. The characters are shining through more than I remember it doing so in the other translation I read so long ago.

GivenLemons Telemachus annoys me so much! He treats Penelope so badly! 6mo
1 like1 comment
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bernadette
The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll | Edith Grossman, Alvaro Mutis

just started the first story. Enjoying the writing but uncomfortable with the depiction of the natives Maqroll encounters during his trip down a river in the jungle. They‘re described as beautiful, naked, and sexual. The story has moved on but it was an odd and disturbing interlude.

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bernadette
Mr. Popper's Penguins: Enhanced Edition | Richard Atwater, Florence Atwater, Robert Lawson

Just started this tonight with the kids and it‘s charming so far and just the right balance of not too complicated for the 6 year old and just interesting enough for the 10 year old. The penguin has arrived so the kids are eager to hear what happens with the penguin tomorrow night.

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bernadette
The Haunting of Hill House | Shirley Jackson
Pickpick

Good atmospheric ghost story and character study. It leans mostly on suspense and an air of dread and foreboding rather than on monsters. Just found out about the Netflix show so I think I will check it out even though I normally am not into watching horror.

review
bernadette
Pickpick

Finally finished reading this out loud to the kids at bedtime. Beautiful kids book about the power of stories. It is based on Chinese folklore and has stories within stories. Kids loved it.