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JSW

JSW

Joined April 2016

Varsity Reading Team Member * Bookshop Santa Cruz Book Group Ambassador 📚👥* Ravenclaw * Reveur *
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The Water Dancer: A Novel by Ta-Nehisi Coates
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Thick: And Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom
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The Time Collector by Gwendolyn Womack
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The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett
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JSW
Bailedbailed

Not doing it for me. Moving on.

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JSW
Pickpick

Blown away by the level of research, history, critical analysis, and scholarship. Fascinating, infuriating, illuminating.

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JSW
Mehso-so

While interesting, this book felt shallow to me. The author didn't dig deeply enough into the history of Spiritualism, the lives of the mediums of Camp Etna, or her own thoughts to be satisfying enough for this reader.

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JSW
Pickpick

If you're white, and you're serious about working on your shit, you must read this. The end.

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JSW
The Birds of Opulence | Crystal Wilkinson
Pickpick

Beautifully written and conveyed. Real and sweet and sad, as all life is. An authentic look at a family and community over time. #ownvoices #readwomen

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JSW
Pickpick

Pick, but very nearly a so-so. Pros: easy to read, well -balanced memoir mixed with Church and Via Francigena history. Cons: not enough of the "journey to faith" bit. I would have liked a more personal, deeper account of his emotional struggles and journey, but overall I enjoyed what Egan was willing to give me.

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JSW
Pickpick

Thorough history, with a little memoir mixed in. It's so important to understand the ways nations have resisted, adapted, and continue to hold onto identity despite the oppression of colonialism and white supremacy. Informative and necessary reading.

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JSW
The Starless Sea | Erin Morgenstern
Pickpick

If you're looking for another Night Circus, this isn't it. Don't make that mistake. Instead, start fresh, no preconceptions. Come to this with hopes for dreamy, magical language, for characters who feel familiar, for stories. For portals. For immersive, enigmatic, and "what's in her brain" concepts and ideas. I loved it, but I doubt everyone will.

JulAnna Great review! I just finished this today, I enjoyed it too! I loved the bookish references and the imagery 😊 3w
readordierachel Lovely review! 3w
31 likes2 comments
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JSW
Pickpick

Brilliant, I loved it. A delightful caper; a grownup Westing Game. I absolutely adored it.

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JSW
Pickpick

Leah‘s story is important, her work is important, and she‘s just a fabulous person. She‘s breaking down barriers and pushing past hate and ignorance on the daily. I admire her so much. ❤️❤️

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JSW
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Pickpick

Must read. D. Watkins shares realness, wisdom, and perspective that is necessary for the conversation. Along with painful stories, Professor Watkins shares practical and realistic tips on how to make a difference.

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JSW
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Happy Birthday to my favorite bookstore, Bookshop Santa Cruz! They celebrate by giving readers 20% off. 😂😂😂 I‘m all set for #LitsyPartyofOne

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JSW
Pickpick

Imaginative, clever, fun, but way too dialogue-y. Characters a bit shallowly drawn. But a good read.

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JSW
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I‘ve been following Leah V for awhile now on Instagram and I love her for her honesty, heart, resilience, fierceness, style, and for sharing her struggles. I loved hearing her speak and getting to meet her in person! Here‘s me fangirling so hard.

Texreader So cool!! 1mo
Bookzombie Awesome pic! 1mo
Jas16 I love how happy you look! Great picture! 1mo
readordierachel Love this photo! 1mo
JSW Thanks, all! I‘m an enthusiastic goofball and everything shows on my face. I was definitely happy! 🤪 1mo
25 likes2 stack adds5 comments
blurb
JSW

There are books that I dependably reach for, nonfiction subjects I use to self teach, books that are easy go-tos when I don‘t want to think, and there‘s books like this one. I‘m coming clean and admitting I‘m an absolute sucker for outdoors, extreme adventure, dangerous, disappearing into nature books. What‘s your secret book love?

Sace I don't know that I have a "secret" book love. I pretty much openly embrace my reading choices even if people would call them "lesser." Nancy Drew, romance, cheesy teenage romance of the 80s, manga... I'll take them all! 1mo
JSW @Sace yessss all the books!! I think it‘s secret for me not because i‘m ashamed but because it‘s not a genre that I think anyone knows I love and it‘s not how I define myself as a reader. 🧐 And why do I even *try* to define myself as a reader anyway? 🤷🏻‍♀️ 1mo
Sace @JSW I'll shout my love of Nancy Drew from the rooftops ? I go back and forth with "defining" myself. I read. That good enough for me (this week at least.) 1mo
JSW @Sace Nancy Drew is awesome, no doubt. 😂❤️❤️ 1mo
16 likes1 stack add4 comments
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JSW
Pickpick

Interesting series of case studies, with medical discussion of their diagnoses. Very accessible to non-scientists.

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JSW
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I‘m busy. There are a lot of books to read.

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JSW
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October faves ! I loved these beautiful, rich, character-driven, deep books.
This month has been bananas at work and for some reason, I‘ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself to read the “should” books - others‘ recommendations, nonfiction because Life is Serious. Yet. My faves this month were books that found me and begged to be read, and I‘m grateful to be reminded of the kinds of stories I love most. ❤️❤️❤️📚

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JSW
David Mogo, Godhunter | Suyi Davies Okungbowa
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This book sounds really great, plus it‘s on kindle for $0.99 right now! Wow! David is part human and part orisha and is on a hero‘s journey through post apocalyptic Lagos. This sounds amazing and I snapped it right up.

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JSW
David Mogo, Godhunter | Suyi Davies Okungbowa
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This book sounds really great, plus it‘s on kindle for $0.99 right now! Wow! David is part human and part orisha and is on a hero‘s journey through post apocalyptic Lagos. This sounds amazing and I snapped it right up.

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JSW
Pickpick

This book thoroughly (and I mean, extensively) summarizes a ton of neuroscience, brain research, and historical brain ideas and studies. Which is interesting, but also muddies the overall message. The book could‘ve been much shorter and referred people to more reading via footnotes, and gotten more to the point. The text is mostly accessible to non-scientists and explained well. Overall a good read.

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JSW
Pickpick

This book is full of heart: life, love, tenderness, tragedy. As a debut, it does tend to ramble a bit at times, but these queens are fierce and vulnerable and strong and honest. #queerbooks #hispanicheritagemonth

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JSW
Cantoras: A Novel | Carolina De Robertis
Pickpick

Such a wonderful book. Each of the five Cantoras are complex and real, and their attempts to live life on their own terms, under a repressive regime and culture, was told with honesty and care. #queerbooks

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JSW
September Song: Roman | Klaus Modick
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My favorite books I read this month. What about you?

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JSW
Inland | Ta Obreht
Mehso-so

I honestly don‘t know how I feel about this book. It was an odd juxtaposition of stories. I feel very unsatisfied by it. Just... why was it even written? 🤷🏻‍♀️

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JSW
Pickpick

I‘m so glad I read this. I appreciate the mind-twist of reading words from someone with such different experiences and identities than mine, yet someone whose thoughts and examinations of identity feel familiar to me.

Riveted_Reader_Melissa Sounds very interesting! Stacked! 3mo
20 likes1 stack add1 comment
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JSW
Inland | Ta Obreht
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Giving this a try. I couldn‘t get into her first novel but this one intrigues me.

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JSW
Mehso-so

Bleak and desolate, with chapters all mixed up (an interesting idea that I liked at first but ultimately felt like a gimmick). Still, I couldn‘t put it down.

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JSW
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My weekend is all booked! What are you reading this weekend?

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JSW
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
Pickpick

Outstanding. I have no words.

cathysaid I‘ve seen interviews with some of the men that survived the school on which this book is based. Just gut wrenching. And they‘re still digging up graves. 😞 3mo
JSW @cathysaid it‘s devastating. I will never get over the lives and promise of greatness that have been lost over the years through individual and institutional acts of colonialism, patriarchy, white supremacy, and humanity‘s desperate need to feel superior. (edited) 3mo
21 likes1 stack add2 comments
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JSW
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Up next! A library find that I hope is not too academic - though I appreciate it‘s coming from a neuroscience perspective!

28 likes1 stack add
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JSW
Pickpick

I throughly enjoyed this quirky contemporary fairy tale. Lila faces challenges, tasks to complete, temptation, mistakes, and adventures on her quest. Great story if you can roll with its oddities: Lila is not particularly likable, the dialogue and story arcs can be a bit cheesily new age-ish, and the author plays fast and loose with (possibly stereotypical?) concepts of Mexican spiritual realism.

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JSW
Tenth Muse | Catherine Chung
Pickpick

Really, really, really, really good. But my god, I haven‘t been so aggravated by characters in a long time. The academic professional experiences of Katherine will be recognized by so many hetero, partnered women of a certain age in academia - the push/pull of identity, agency, authenticity, relationship, patriarchy, and institutionalized sexism. This book is about who we are, what defines us, betrayal, longing, and so much more.

JSW The academic in me absolutely cringes at the relationship between faculty mentor/student. And parts of me died to see Katherine‘s work and intellectual potential stolen by trusted mentors. ARGH. 3mo
Christine Oh man, this was already on my radar but definitely needs to be stacked after this review! 3mo
17 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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JSW
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Yesterday‘s library book haul! I only requested 4 of these titles, the rest were browse finds. 😬 #sorrynotsorry

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JSW
Burning Chambers | Kate Mosse
Bailedbailed

I have to bail on this one; it‘s moving too slowly for me and has too much historical detail that is bogging me down. If you like a slow burn (ha!) and love European religious and political history you might try it. Mosse is a great writer who tells good stories.

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JSW
Pickpick

Enjoyable read that‘s a bit history, a bit journalism, and a bit memoir. Good stuff.

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JSW
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Four sentences to convey complete horror.

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JSW
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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The author is coming to town next week so I want to have this done by then. I hear amazing things!

Branwen Omg it's SO GOOD! 😍💕📚 3mo
tpixie Awesomeness! Have fun! 3mo
Leftcoastzen A great book! 3mo
See All 6 Comments
readordierachel Cool! It's really good. 3mo
rather_be_reading did u see him tonight?? 3mo
JSW @rather_be_reading I see him Thursday! 3mo
39 likes6 comments
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JSW
Mehso-so

Nice palate-cleanser. I loved the 1920‘s sections but cringed a lot in the mawkish 1970‘s sections. Side note: do authors bother to google the names of their characters? They should. There was a real Clara Darden, an artist, But she wasn‘t this character. She was a Native American basket-weaver. It rubbed me wrong that her name was appropriated for this story that has nothing to do with her or her work.

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JSW
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My town has a separate storefront goodwill for books, CDs, records, and DVDs that I keep forgetting about. Super excited to score this haul for $14! Happy reading and listening! The bottom book, Jack Maggs, came recommended by the grey-haired gentleman running the cash register. 👍🏼😀📚❤️

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JSW
Daisy Jones & The Six | Taylor Jenkins Reid
Pickpick

Lots of fun and a perfect farewell-to-summer read.

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JSW
Daisy Jones & The Six | Taylor Jenkins Reid
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Or should I say, great expectations. So much hype about this book!

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JSW
Daisy Jones & The Six | Taylor Jenkins Reid
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Or should I say, great expectations. So much hype about this book!

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JSW
Pickpick

This book, this epic, tragic, lovely book. How do I begin? As it wrestled with philosophic questions of what life is worth, it maintained a steady quiet tension. I was utterly transfixed. Layers of meaning and history made personal. Gah, I can‘t even describe how good.

JSW I‘m just reduced to staring off into space. It‘s one of THOSE. 3mo
JamieArc Moving this up my TBR 😁 3mo
JSW @JamieArc I hope you like it. It moves at its own measured pace. The characters are wonderful. 3mo
17 likes3 comments
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JSW
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Pickpick

Important and necessary reading for right now. While at times repetitive with ideas and quotes, the writing is impassioned and researched. Let the resistance continue.

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JSW
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#ShelfieSunday!! Here‘s my one bookshelf that I allow myself (space issues!). But my books overflow, of course, so I keep my signed copies in a separate stack on top of the photos/craft shelf.

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JSW
Mehso-so

Cheesy but sweet. Very much a soap opera of a book. Quick read for your last few beach days.

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JSW
Daisy Jones & The Six | Taylor Jenkins Reid
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Library book haul!

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JSW
Disappearing Earth | Julia Phillips
Bailedbailed

Not for me. Quality writing but it‘s not connecting in any way.

Tamra I started the audio and it didn‘t keep me engaged so I didn‘t go back to it. I chalked it up to vacation distractions, but maybe not. 3mo
JSW @Tamra I didn‘t care about any of the characters. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 3mo
20 likes2 comments
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JSW
Magic for Liars | Sarah Gailey
Pickpick

I‘m going with pick. The characterizations sold it for me. The insight Ivy has into others, while ignoring her own complexities, was a fascinating contrast. I‘ve been reading more books lately where characters are LGBTQ and it‘s just one aspect of who they are, just part of the fabric of community, and that was cool about this book too. However, solid, if not predictable, mystery, and the premise wasn‘t as cool as I hoped.