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bourne.shell

bourne.shell

Joined August 2019

--Books are a uniquely portable magic | www.goodreads.com/bourneshell
review
bourne.shell
Fake Accounts | Lauren Oyler
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The reviews for this book are divisive. I was hooked for the first 20%. Then it slowly started to change into something else. Not terrible, just different than what I expected. The disconnection from the real you and the online persona that everyone else thinks is you. There is some brilliant commentary about relationships, sex, and power dynamics. And some drab run-ons of unfiltered thought.

... Objects online are less sexy than they appear

11 likes1 stack add
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bourne.shell
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We are inclined to feel that we need to keep everyone at a safe distance and always have an exit strategy, but vulnerability is not weakness. This book made me ask myself, how is my fear of vulnerability holding me back? The answers are not easy.

I'm not a huge fan of self-help type books, they often feel preachy, but this was a really good break from reading fiction. It just felt authentic.

Emma_PK I've just finished this, I wouldn't even call it a self help book, to me its more like research outcomes and commentary on society and relationships. Its fab, isnt it? Have you seen her Ted Talks? 2y
bourne.shell @Emma_PK I totally agree with you. I haven't seen the Ted Talk, I know she referenced it several times in the book. What am I waiting for?

Have you read anything else by her. Curious if her new stuff is just as good or just didn't packaging on the same message.
2y
Emma_PK I am due to read a few more of hers, I think she circles around similar concepts that understandably overlap due to the focus of her work, but I just love her whole approach and communication style and have been listening to her podcast too. Definitely take a look at her Ted Talk, there is another one of hers on Netflix also. When I read the next book I will let you know what I think. 🙂 2y
10 likes1 stack add3 comments
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bourne.shell
Dune | Frank Herbert
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I did it. Almost 800 pages. It's held as such a classic sci-fi novel and after reading it, it's easy to see that dune planted the seeds for many sci-fi tropes. I read most of it, listened to some audio (the narrators are amazing), and listened to the “Reading Dune Podcast“ for commentary per chapter. Sadly they aren't finished so the last 12 chapters were on my own. I needed all 3 resources, That's how thick and dense the world building is in Dune

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The Four Winds | Kristin Hannah
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A story about hard times, perseverance, and determination. Despite the setting, it's really about characters.

Watching Elsa transform from a timid and insecure woman. To a fierce protector and advocate of those around her. A woman that grows into her own skin and realizes she is who she always needed to be. That's the real story of this book. The one that pulls on your heart.

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3/5

An Interesting little short book that would be a good fit in between larger reads (I'm also currently reading Dune). It reflects on the meaning of life and makes you question, what would you be willing to make disappear, so that you could live one more day?

... In order to gain something, you have to lose something.

12 likes1 stack add
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The Prophets | Robert Jones Jr.
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Heartbreaking is not an understatement. A love story wrapped in a tragedy. The words are thick and weighted with meaning. They can make the reader uncomfortable with the words on the page. About how you view them, what they mean to you. Yet feeling the need to press on. Needing to know, what happens to Samuel and Isaiah?

“It's really important that, in the midst of sorrow, the greatest art is conceived.“ -- Robert Jones, Jr.

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The Institute | Stephen King
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This is classic King. I was so pulled in with the characters and the fact they are children makes their situation unfathomable ... This was like watching a car accident in slow motion. That split second before the crash when your body feels the dread spinning up inside your chest and you just grip the wheel because you know something bad is coming. Really enjoyed it.

JanuarieTimewalker13 Memorable book. Really enjoyed this one 2y
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If you're a Jost fan, you'll love this. If you're a fan of dry wit and rhythmic timing, it's for you. If you want to feel like you're watching a giant SNL skit, listen to the audiobook narrated by Jost himself. Wait until you get to the section about lines that the network censors told them they could not say on TV:

.... Delete “God lives for Puss” and let‘s discuss options that are not centered on female/male genitalia.

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Elevation | Stephen King
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A nice quick read. Unlike anything, I've read from King before. The undertones of the importance of tolerance and finding common ground with people not like you was well-timed with current events. Worth a read, but not if you're expecting typical Stephen King horror, that it is not. But it would fit perfectly in between books as a breather or change of pace.

9 likes1 stack add
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Ready Player One | Ernest Cline
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Admitting I'm just jumping on the bandwagon. There's a movie and a second book, fine. I'm in. I started out reading the book but after reading countless comments about how great the narrator was, I switched. Glad I did. As a child of the '80s, the references felt good. The audiobook was smooth and enjoyable like watching a movie in your head. Not saying it's the best writing ever. It's entertainment and there's nothing wrong with entertainment.

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Wow! I didn't know anything about this before I started and I loved it. Deep, meaningful, and entertaining. Great philosophical undertones throughout the whole book. What makes a life worth living? What do you need to be happy? Very sobering and told in a creative metaphor.

... “It‘s not what you look at that matters, it‘s what you see.“

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Wildly creative. I've been looking forward to this one for a long time and V.E. Schwab can't write books fast enough. I found myself binging the last 100 pages or so, stuck in the cycle of debating to save it so it feels more “special“ when I finish it and “I can't put this down“. Highly recommend.

... life is the minutes you want minus one.

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Anxious People: A Novel | Fredrik Backman
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This book is so much fun . The premise of a failed bank robbery and unconventional hostage situation gives so many great insights to the anxious worries and unsaid stresses that people face in life.

.... It's always very easy to declare that other people are idiots, but only if you forget how idiotically difficult being human is.

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I absolutely loved the idea of this book. Each chapter the names of people and places change, over a 2000 year time-frame. But you pick the story up right where you left off from the previous chapter, emphasizing that the story is the main character. Very creative and compelling. Another great book by John Boyne

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The End of the Day | Bill Clegg
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It's better than so-so but not as good as Clegg's last book “Did You Ever Have a Family. The style fits right in though, so if you're a Clegg fan it will feel comfortable. I thought it was kind of a slow burn the first half of the book and the second half was more fluid and emotional as you start to piece together the character's past and how they are connected.

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Greenwood: A Novel | Michael Christie
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This is a big story, told in a beautiful way. I have a habit of dragging my feet on books that I‘m really enjoying, I don‘t want them to end. This one took forever to finish. I loved how the characters and storylines are woven together through multiple timelines. It does remove some suspense because you know the events that are going to happen in some places. But I think it‘s worth it because it makes the characters deeper and more connected.

MommyWantsToReadHerBook Wow, this sounds beautiful. 2y
3 likes1 stack add1 comment
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A Man Called Ove: A Novel | Fredrik Backman
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Not amazing, but very enjoyable. Who doesn't love an old curmudgeon?

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This is a quick refreshing read.

...The meaning of ichigo ichie is something like this: What we are experiencing right now will never happen again. And therefore, we must value each moment like a beautiful treasure.

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Such a Fun Age | Kiley Reid
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Mehso-so

Easy to read. Interesting characters. Meaningful social commentary. It just didn't quiet hit home for me. I'm a little bummed out about it, though I really enjoyed the last quarter of the book.

BarbaraBB I felt the same. 2y
11 likes1 comment
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bourne.shell
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A humorous commentary on racial stereotypes and the struggle of assimilation. Told as a narrative of a behind the scenes TV show. Smart, witty, cutting. Even the format, writing as almost a screenplay, was different from the start. Not what I was expecting. But a great change of pace.

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My Dark Vanessa | Kate Elizabeth Russell
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Haunting. Complicated. Dark. Uncomfortable.

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Godshot | Chelsea Bieker
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What an interesting story. A severe drought in Peaches, California, A larger than life cult leader with a divine plan. The perfect mix of poverty, desperation, and blind faith. A congregation so obedient and hopeful they baptize themselves in a bathtub filled with cola instead of water. A heartbreaking story of a young girl finding her way, but there are no easy decisions in Peaches.

...What if there was a god who wanted us to ask questions?

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One of the best books I've read this year. Brit Bennett has created something really amazing.

Desiree and Stella, two light-skinned black twin sisters who run away from home and then decide to go their separate ways. One sister choosing to return to their home town and live as a black woman and the other choosing to create a new life as a white woman. I was hooked until the every end.

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Apeirogon: A Novel | Colum McCann
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Superb! Complex and layered. I loved the format. Never read a book that handles chapters in this way. starting at 1 and counting up to 500, then back down to 1. I found it engaging and a successful way to reinforce particular statements and ideas.

.... Apeirogon: a shape with a countably infinite number of sides.

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bourne.shell
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I enjoyed almost everything about this book. I lost track of just how many little sentences, statements, observations I highlighted. The first half of the book was amazing. I like almost all of the characters and thought the development work on them was great. But I admit, I struggled with the last maybe 5 chapters. My interest level dipped and I finished a little less enthusiastically that I was hoping.

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A Burning: A novel | Megha Majumdar
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I really loved the three main characters; Jivan, Lovely, and PT Sir. It took a little adjusting to get used to the writing style but given the setting in India, once I dialed in the monologs, my imagination wouldn't let me put it down.

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The City We Became | N.K. Jemisin
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I started this book months ago and had too much going on. Only read about a third of it before my loan ended. It's been on hold ever since to finish it.

So I finished it with the audiobook and I can't stress enough how AMAZING the audiobook is!!!!! It's a performance. The book itself is good and has sci-fi themes of multiverses, complete with a villain and cast of hero avatars.

But that narration!

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Exciting Times | Naoise Dolan
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This won't be for everyone but it was good. Some people will think meh, others will think that the characters aren't especially likable to begin with. They won't be wrong. But the real gem of this book is the writing. Clever, witty, and sharp. I'm not sure that it's going to last with me for very long but while you're reading it .. it's very easy to have that ...“what happens next“ thought

10 likes1 stack add
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bourne.shell
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Finally getting around to this one. Enjoyed the the whole thing! Just smirked after reading the last couple of chapters

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I'm a Meg Wolitzer fan. I love all the irony and complicated layers in this book.

“...I think that‘s what the people who change our lives always do. They give us permission to be the person we secretly really long to be but maybe don‘t feel we‘re allowed to be.“

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You Exist Too Much | Zaina Arafat
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Read this in two days. While it's not really my genre. What does a straight, white, middle-aged male have in common with a young gay Palestinian woman? But in her effort to deal with childhood trauma, cultural baggage, and inner self-doubt. There was something in her pain and deep insecurities that resonated with me. So flawed and human. Yelling at her by the end of the book! I just want you to be happy! I can't bear to see her have anymore pain.

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In Five Years: A Novel | Rebecca Serle
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I found the idea of the book really fascinating. Kind of wanted a little more of a fantasy vibe. But I didn't expect the story to go where it did. I enjoyed most of the twists and turns, I didn't seem them coming. Could have done without Jill, and still not sure how I feel about what Dannie did! That makes it worth the read ... where after you're done, you're still trying to sort out your feelings

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The Gimmicks: A Novel | Chris McCormick
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Mehso-so

Parts of it I really loved. Other parts had to fight for my attention. Overall, worth reading. I liked the characters and the general plot and there are these great lines throughout the whole book from the author like .... “Sometimes her English had english on it, and it spun out in strange directions before I could pocket the message.“ But there were a few chapters that just dragged. Honestly I think this would make a fun movie!

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Writers & Lovers | Lily King
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It took me a couple of chapters to warm up to Casey, but then I found myself fully engaged in her situation. The weight of her moms death, the tension with her father, the pressure of writing a novel, being pulled between two men, the financial pressure and losing her job .... I think the author did a beautiful job of capturing a really pivotal snapshot of this characters life.

-- “It's so much easier to cry when there are arms around you“

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bourne.shell
Writers & Lovers | Lily King
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Topics of Conversation | Miranda Popkey
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I enjoyed this. Maybe it's not as good as it was hyped to be but that's not the author's fault. I certainly don't think it deserves the poor reviews. I found the conversations real, honest, and raw. Were some of them unfavorable, making the main character unlikeable at times, yes. But isn't that the story the author is telling. If I had any complaint it would be some of the chapters are very long and it was hard to finish in one sitting

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Dear Edward | Ann Napolitano
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Really good book. Kind of a slower emotional burn. It builds steam through the entire book and the last few chapters are great reading. I also really enjoyed how the author handled the timeline and weaving them back and further.

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Nothing to See Here | Kevin Wilson
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This was really run. Easy to read, hard to put down. The humor and sarcastic undertones were perfect. I love that there was no resolution for why things happened. Like that was the b-plot of the book, and the real story line was a love story of acceptance and family.

Really enjoyable.

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Didn't expected that. Oh sweet innocence Bruno. Your naivety is beautiful and tragic.

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Three Women | Lisa Taddeo
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This book weaved a much more complicated story of three women than I anticipated. The author does a good job of stating upfront what each woman desires. It grabs the your attention and gives the author the ability to piece together a story that is much less sexy and much more heartbreaking and compelling. I'm left with a range of emotions and thoughts that are thought provoking and unsettling about how men and women both desire and interpret sex.

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bourne.shell
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Mehso-so

uh ... what?

This got great reviews. I'm not sure I'm smart enough to understand the writing style. I imagine if you read the first couple of chapters and enjoy it, then you'll be on the level of others that rave about this book.

shanaqui I'm with you, and I have an MA in English Lit. I concluded it's a taste thing. 3y
bourne.shell @shanaqui thank god! that makes me f better, like I wasn't just be cranky about it. It's was fine. Good in some spots. ehh ... it just wasn't for me. 3y
5 likes2 comments
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bourne.shell
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Loved this book. Only picked it up because “A ladder to the sky“ was amazing and someone recommended that this was even better. I had no idea what the book was about when I picked it up. I started reading cold and quickly found myself fully immersed in the story.

The snarky humor between Cyril and his parents. I mean ... adoptive parents was hilarious and they are so entertaining as characters.

marleed This wii go down as one of my all time favorites! 3y
bourne.shell @marleed I agree. After I read it, I bought it on audible. Which I almost never do. The narrator is so good!

Have you read anything else from John Boyne, or recommend any other books that you'd put in this quality of characters?
3y
12 likes1 stack add2 comments
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bourne.shell
The Glass Hotel | Emily St. John Mandel
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...A lonely man walks into a bar and sees an opportunity. An opportunity walks into a bar and meets a bartender...

Loved some of the characters and the initial plot. I felt it was moving in a good direction. Little confused about parts of the secondary plot. Still enjoyed it. I love Mandel's writing style. So elegant and absorbing.

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Caging Skies | Christine Leunens
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Mehso-so

“it was a cruel irony that the only human being who could console me was the very one who made me suffer“

to be honest, I only read this so I can watch the movie jojo rabbit

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bourne.shell
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5/5 Taylor Jenkins Reid is becoming one of my favorite authors (read Daisy Jones & The Six). This is another clever format to tell a compelling story that spans multiple decades. I found the characters likeable, complex, and deep. The chapters flow so smoothly and are paced perfectly. At times it's hard to find a stopping point.

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Taking a break from fiction to read a really interesting book about sugar. Full of interesting things to think about. I wouldn't take it as gospel but the author makes a compelling case to at least make you think. Including a history of sugar advertising, the start of coca-cola, and some of the research going on behind western diets.

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3.5/5 An unconventional love story that jumps all over the place. It's not your traditional storytelling or structured chapters. The entire book flows more like thoughts. Dancing from his dark and violent love with Emma to his father's death, or the waiting of the singularity when computers and man become one. If you're already a Ron Currie, Jr. fan, read it! If not, this a good book of his to start on, then go read everything else he's written.

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blurb
bourne.shell
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People think that intimacy is about sex.
But intimacy is about truth...

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Beartown: A Novel | Fredrik Backman
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Such a relevant book wrestling with a tough question. I've seen both sides of the issue and there are no winners. The story is based in a small town, but just as easily could have been based on a college campus anywhere in the US. Backman weaves a beautiful story with words that paints such a vivid picture of the town and the people. I can't wait to read his other books.

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Fleishman Is in Trouble: A Novel | Taffy Brodesser-Akner
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I'd say read it just because it's not boring, but if you can't get through the first 10 minutes then this book isn't for you. It's an honest take on marriage and the pressures and expectations that come with it. Despite the cast of unlikable characters, and I mean all of them, I generally enjoyed it. It made me feel things and got me thinking.