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karenna

karenna

Joined April 2016

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karenna
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Pickpick

I loved reading this book. Anderson‘s writing transforms an arguably unglamorous topic, Oklahoma City, into a gripping read. Note: I listened to it on audio, which the author himself narrates. His reading enhanced my experience because his wry humor is emphasized by the delivery tone.

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karenna
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Pickpick

Initially, the fragmented narrative presents a challenge, but the effort is rewarded due to the moving story and lovable characters.

2 likes1 stack add
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karenna
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Pickpick

Since I knew little about the Iditarod beyond its being a sled dog race, I found this book very informative. Paulsen does an excellent job of editing the story of his training and the race to the most interesting and essential aspects. He also peppers his account with humor. NOTE: Contains some disturbing animal scenes.

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karenna
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Pickpick

A great story with heart-warming characters. This would make a good book club selection because it deals with many discussion-worthy topics and the author has an interest in doing phone interviews with book groups. (Listen to Book Cougars podcast episode 65 to hear their interview with Marais. At the end of the episode, the author states she‘s available to interact with reading groups.) Excellent audio narration.

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karenna
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Pickpick

I loved this book about the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park. Even though it was difficult to read about the times when animals were jeopardized or killed, the stories of love and triumph outweigh the painful parts. Also, I listened to this on audiobook and thought the narrator‘s voice suited the subject perfectly.

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karenna
The Woman Warrior: China Men | Maxine Hong Kingston
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Pickpick

This memoir artfully blends folklore and memory to craft a feminist battle cry. Since It doesn‘t follow a linear narrative and introduces some fantastical elements, some may find it a challenging read, but it rewards the effort with beauty and wisdom.

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karenna
A Ladder to the Sky | John Boyne
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Pickpick

Really enjoyed this novel that explores the dark side of literary ambition in an often humorous manner. I particularly appreciated that each chapter has a different style, so it almost reads like a linked story collection. It‘s a great book club pick because people could debate the relative morality of several of the characters.

I received an advanced-reader‘s copy from PRH‘s First to Read program. I believe it comes out on Nov. 13.

swishandflick Such a great book! I enjoyed it too. 1y
1 like1 comment
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karenna
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Pickpick

Riveting account of maritime tragedy. If you enjoy disaster movies/books, don‘t miss this one.

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karenna
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Pickpick

This is a delight for lifelong readers. As one myself, I identified with so many of Mangan‘s thoughts (despite missing some of the British cultural references that Americans don‘t share). I also appreciated the seamless integration of information about the historical milestones in children‘s literature.

2 likes1 stack add
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karenna
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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Pickpick

Jefferson recounts her experiences growing up as an affluent African-American in the 1950/1960s in a fragmented, non-linear form.

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karenna
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Pickpick

This is a can‘t miss for dog lovers and/or feminists.

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karenna
Of Marriage | Nicole Cooley
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Pickpick

I don‘t know enough about the various poetic structures to be able to fully appreciate everything I think Cooley has achieved in this volume, which uses many forms to explore marriage. Nevertheless, I connected with several of the poems and think it offers a wide variety of expressive and interpretive possibilities.

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karenna
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Pickpick

A quick read that offers compelling evidence of the corrosive effects of discourtesy.

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karenna
Infinite Jest | David Foster Wallace
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Pickpick

Initially, I wasn't sure I would like this book (too fragmented, too many drugs), but I ended up finding it both very funny (especially the scenes related to 12-step programs) and permeated with Wallace's characteristic humanism. I read approximately 25 pages a day for about a month and a half, and I highly recommend reading it in manageable chunks because it is pretty dense.

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karenna
Circe | Madeline Miller
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Pickpick

Recommend for those who enjoy stories about finding and claiming one's power.

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karenna
Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row | Anthony Ray Hinton, Lara Love Hardin
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Pickpick

What differentiates this book from other books about injustice in the judicial system is Hinton's ability to put human faces on death row names and exemplify the power of a positive mindset.

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karenna
The Friend | Sigrid Nunez
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Pickpick

Thumbs and paws up for Nunez's poignant depictions of love (especially between humans and dogs/animals) and thoughtful musings on authorship. Trigger warning--suicide.

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karenna
An American Marriage | Tayari Jones
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Pickpick

While this book does an excellent job depicting both an African-American experience of the justice system and the complexities of marriage, what really moved me was its depiction of coping with disappointment.

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karenna
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Pickpick

Loved reading this advanced reader's copy of "Where the Crawdads Sing" from Putnam. I'm not sure what date this title is scheduled to be released, but put it on your TBR pile now if you enjoy unexplained deaths, lyrical prose, coastal South scenery, and complex characters.

PutnamKatie 8/14! So happy you liked it! 1y
5 likes1 comment
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karenna
Yes, Chef: A Memoir | Marcus Samuelsson
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Pickpick

I am not really a foodie and have never seen "Top Chef," but I still enjoyed this memoir (recommended by @bookriot) from one of America's top chefs.

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karenna
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Mehso-so

Although author's humor and cultural generalizations did not always work for me, the book does provide some interesting ideas about how to increase happiness, both personal and societal.

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karenna
The Day of the Locust | Nathanael West
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Panpan

Too grim and odd for me.

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karenna
The Lost Painting | Jonathan Harr
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Pickpick

This nonfiction book recounts the relatively recent finding of a Caravaggio masterpiece that had been "lost" for over a century. Pros: info on Caravaggio's life and the details surrounding the actual events that led to the painting's identification. Con: the detours the author takes to describe the lives of some of the contemporary participants seemed gratuitous. Overall: pretty good, especially given the length and ease of read.

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karenna
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Pickpick

Really captures the way a dog can make a difference in a life.

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karenna
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Pickpick

Initially drawn to the title and cover, I really enjoyed this book that explores the author's and society's conceptions around the institution of marriage. She compares her experiences with those of her mother's as well as five other artists' from earlier eras. Of course, single women may get the most out of this book, but I've been married for many years now and found much to learn, interest, and ponder.

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karenna
The exploits of Arsne Lupin | Maurice Leblanc
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Mehso-so

Lupin is a criminal who often moonlights as a detective. A little zany and predictable for my taste but definitely a good pick if you want light, summer reading. Also, Sherlock Holmes makes an appearance in the final story, which makes for an interesting comparison between French and English values and perceptions.

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karenna
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Mehso-so

I liked pieces of almost every essay in this collection, but only a couple of the essays really worked for me as a whole. D'Ambrosio's musings just don't fully resonate with mine. That said, it's a quality collection that is sure to be a favorite with brains more compatible. Readers who want compelling explorations of loneliness and mental illness should definitely pick this up.

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karenna
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Pickpick

This may include too much detail and too little narrative propulsion for most readers, but if you are interested in the Lost Generation, this book is a treasure trove of information. I particularly enjoyed learning about Sylvia Beach, the founder of Paris's original Shakespeare & Company bookstore and an inspiring female who, in some ways, acted as a Litsy for her time.😉

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karenna
Priestdaddy: A Memoir | Patricia Lockwood
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Pickpick

Lockwood's foundations as a poet are evident in this memoir filled with unique and beautiful images. "Priestdaddy" often reads more like essays than a memoir because the author weaves glimpses of her early/current life with musings on more abstract concepts, especially religion. I like the parts about her parents best. Often laugh-out-loud funny. I listened on audio, which Lockwood humorously narrates.

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karenna
A Marriage in Dog Years | Nancy Balbirer
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Pickpick

This memoir chronicles the simultaneous collapse of her marriage and her dog's health. While the topic is grim, the narration has a wit that often leavens the darkness. Balbirer's characterization of the illusions that often underpin our relationships interested me most. I got this copy free from Amazon's First Reads promotion, and I believe it is still available free for Prime members until the end of May 2018.

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karenna
Holes | Louis Sachar
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Pickpick

When I taught middle school, this was one of my students' favorite non-assigned books. More than a decade later, I finally got around to reading it. Great selection, Former Students! I was very charmed by the plot and characters, which entertain readers of all ages.

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karenna
The Marrow of Tradition | Charles Waddell Chesnutt
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Pickpick

If you like good old-fashioned story telling, this is a excellent choice. It would also be a great book club pick because it provides so much fodder for discussion. Chestnutt's themes on race still resonate today.

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karenna
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Pickpick

Combines the joys of your favorite telenovela and culinary shows and utilizes magical realism elements to undermine patriarchal authoritarianism.

Liatrek Love this book! I really need to reread this one😍 2y
2 likes1 comment
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karenna
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Pickpick

I love the combination of melancholy and dark humor in this collection, which covers a wide array of topics. Some memorable poems for me dealt with relationships issues, language play, class struggles, and environmental destruction.

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karenna
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Mehso-so

This book features a wife reading her ex-husband's manuscript. Through this structure, Wright explores some really interesting ideas, my favorites being a reader's engagement with a text and a woman's expectations and realities in long-term relationships. However, I did not love my reading experience as a whole: I was not connected to the characters and felt the book a bit odd for my tastes.

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karenna
The Elephant's Journey | Jos Saramago
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Pickpick

I confess that I bought this book mostly on the basis of the title and cover (with a small consideration given to the fact that the author, of whom I knew nothing, won the Nobel). I found it delightful. If you enjoy wry humor, especially directed towards imperialism and religious hypocrisy, then this is a good choice. Note: Saramago, or the translator, does not always employ standard punctuation, so it takes a little while to adjust.

6 likes1 stack add
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karenna
The Dry | Jane Harper
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Two mysteries for the price of one. Does a nice job depicting the sometimes-claustrophobic feeling of small town life. Excited to hear @SavidgeReads (who also inspired the picture of cacti featured above) discuss with Pip on his "Crime Time" segment on his BookTube channel.

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karenna
The Listeners | Leni Zumas
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#RiotGrams--day 18--music.

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karenna
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#RiotGrams--day 17--an unreturned book. I loved my high school copy of "The Return of the Native" so much that I kept the lost copy that I later found. (Yes, I did have to pay a replacement fee.) My copy is pictured with my dog Hardy. I wonder how he got that name???‍♀️

Jess7 Cute 2y
7 likes1 stack add1 comment
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karenna
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#RiotGrams--day 16--black history. This book really captures the pervasive terror of Jim Crow and the tireless, brave work for justice performed by the NAACP.

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karenna
City on Fire | Garth Risk Hallberg
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#RiotGrams--day 15--hot books. I realize that Powell's Books in Portland, Oregon, must really love hot titles because I think I acquired all the titles pictured here (except the Sedaris) via my Indiespensible subscription.

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karenna
Elements of Style | Wendy Wasserstein
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#RiotGrams--day 13--pink, red, and white. Wasserstein's book is the pink book on top. I haven't read it yet, but the cover's color definitely grabs my attention.

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karenna
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#RiotGrams--day 12--favorite leading ladies. I loved Amy March in "Little Women," so I'm excited to read this book and learn about the Alcott sister who served as the inspiration.

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karenna
So B. It | Sarah Weeks
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#RiotGrams--day 11--punctuation. This is one of the books in my TBR stacks.

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karenna
The Book of Joan: A Novel | Lidia Yuknavitch
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#RiotGrams--day 10-a book and a beverage. Reading for the Tournament of Books and drinking coffee in a tournament mug. #ToB18

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karenna
The Sheltering Sky | Paul Bowles
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Panpan

I did not enjoy this book exploring the psychology of an American couple as they travel in North Africa. The pace was too slow; the characters behaved too oddly. While not for me, it may appeal to readers interested in issues related to existential theory, gender studies, and racism. It could also foster lively book group discussions, such as whether the male author accurately portrays females. Trigger warning: disturbing sexual content.

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karenna
Stag's Leap: Poems | Sharon Olds
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Pickpick

I loved this collection of poems expressing grief over the end (due to adultery) of a marriage which had lasted more than thirty years. While the poems verbalize very specific personal moments, they convey the pain and loss with which most people can identify and empathize even if they haven't experienced divorce.

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karenna
Easy Prey | John Sandford
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#RiotGrams--day 9--beloved series. John Sandford writes my favorite series, his "Prey" titles. This picture displays part of my Sandford collection, which includes several "Prey" books as well as some of his other (also entertaining) novels.

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karenna
Snow | Orhan Pamuk
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#RiotGrams--day 8--spine poetry. "Snow" is the title placed second from the bottom and a great book to read for an exploration of Turkey's attempts to grapple with its diverse cultural heritage.

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karenna
Homegoing: A novel | Yaa Gyasi
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#RiotGrams--day 7--black writers. "Homegoing," through a structure similar to a linked short story collection, traces the paths of the descendants of two sisters separated by slavery.