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ke1lbe1l

ke1lbe1l

Joined October 2018

Ohio-raised, Maryland these days. Sci-fi/fantasy, popular fiction, classics, contemporary nonfiction, and the occasional rom-com. 65/30
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ke1lbe1l
Piranesi | Susanna Clarke
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I was in a bit of a slump, but coming back strong for October with a variety of great reads. Would recommend the left and middle columns; the third column reads were meh. Happy belated Halloween to everyone! ☠️🎃

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ke1lbe1l
Olive | Emma Gannon
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June recap - favorites in order from top to bottom, left to right. However, I tagged Olive because it stood out the most and I‘ve seen it hyped the least. As a woman in her mid-thirties, (and despite an amazing support system among my friends and family), the societal expectation of motherhood weighs on me. Sometimes, it‘s just good to hear from a narrator who pushes against all that pressure, and struggles to be a good friend on a different path.

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ke1lbe1l
Elatsoe | Darcie Little Badger
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Delayed May wrap-up: Elatsoe was definitely my favorite - a not-too-overly magical murder mystery with a strong theme of family and a subplot of displacement. Searcher was for a book club, and was OK. I should have bailed on Obsidian Tower 10x but was too proud to DNF it, because it had all the elements of a book I‘d like but just did not execute well. The rest (which I‘m sure you‘ve seen hyped), I would definitely also recommend.

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ke1lbe1l
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“It‘s good that you realize you‘re more valuable as a person than an idea-machine.”

Taking some advice from Zafir‘s words of wisdom and celebrating the successful end of a tough work week with a tired puppy, snacks and a good book.

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ke1lbe1l
Untitled | Unknown
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The merch has arrived from Independent Bookstore Day online shopping (Politics & Prose and Sistah SciFi)

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ke1lbe1l
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Was this my favorite book that I‘ll be raving about forever? No. But it was a quick read and a good chance to learn more about our First Lady, who I respect for her intelligence and prioritization of education in her life and those she teaches. My favorite line -which I think is my new affirmation for the near future- is one she borrowed (and credits): You can have it all, just not at the same time (Betty Friedan)

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ke1lbe1l
Untitled | Unknown
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Thought I was in a reading slump because I bailed on a number of books but the reason I love data is because it can always surprise you. Tied with last month for most books read in a month (7). Pictured in no logical order, but best read was Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, and also laughed out loud at Here For It.

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ke1lbe1l
Glass Hotel | Emily St John Mandel
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Second vaccine shot this morning. What better way to anxiously await the onset of mild symptoms than with a book in hand and this breezy spring weather?

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ke1lbe1l
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Note to self: re-read this book in 3 years and 5 years and 10 years. Having had a father who was raised by a Freudian psychoanalyst, and having lost my father 4 years ago, this book reminds me how much I miss having someone emotionally aware enough to ask the challenging questions that cause me to pause and reflect. At a minimum, therapy needs to be a destigmatized part of our routine care plans. Mental health is just as important as physical.

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ke1lbe1l
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The book was well researched and written but the very brief explicit nod to structural racism 2/3 of the way through the text felt obligatory, and did not make up for the lack of conversation around race and the privilege that whiteness provides for those that live this mobile/van lifestyle.

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ke1lbe1l
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March was extra stressful (for many reasons and no reasons at all), and without realizing it, I escaped into 7 different worlds to try to get away from the daily reality ... I think that‘s the most I‘ve ever read in a month. 5 ⭐️ to all the books on the left.

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ke1lbe1l
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After 12 consecutive days of work, I almost forgot how to relax. Almost.

ShyBookOwl Enjoy!! This looks perfect 10mo
22 likes1 comment
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ke1lbe1l
Sula | Toni Morrison
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I am livid that I was never introduced to Baldwin or Morrison or so many other amazing BIPOC authors in school. Sure we read Langston Hughes and I discovered Angelou. But I wish I would‘ve read and analyzed Sula with my peers growing up. I wish it so much. Overall — Left to right/top to bottom in terms of rankings for Feb. I also had 3 DNFs. I know I‘m preaching to the choir, but make space for black authors every month, not just BHM.

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ke1lbe1l
Sing, Unburied, Sing | Jesmyn Ward
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3 audiobooks, 3 Kindle editions, all via Libby. Another month of good reads and money saved. Really need to get back on the pattern of posting reviews after each, because I have some things to say about what made these books worth the read and what fell short.

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ke1lbe1l
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An AirBnB with a yard and a screened in porch makes me acutely aware of how much we need an upgrade from condo living. (Don‘t mistake the pup‘s longing look for a lack of over an hour of playtime in the yard already this morning... time for a coffee break and a good book.)

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ke1lbe1l
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Fortunately, I was ahead of pace going into December so I could finish up 2020 with 54 books (2 past my goal of 52), despite a slow reading month. I think this is the most I‘ve ever read in a year, and it‘s been amazing and also at times exhausting. Reading is a welcome escape to new points of view, but sometimes, I just want normal and to not want an escape so badly. That being said, I‘m grateful for the things 2020 has taught me. Happy New Year!

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ke1lbe1l
An Ember in the Ashes | Sabaa Tahir
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It was a slower month and I started twice as many new books as I finished. So I‘m starting out December in a bit of a slump. These were mostly mediocre reads but I was extremely happy to escape in Tahir‘s world building and finished that book in one day. I enjoyed Robinson‘s humor and needed that. And Luster was worth some hype for her phrasing and observations, but I agree with reviews that cite as problematic the toxicity of the relationship.

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ke1lbe1l
Ember in the Ashes | Sabaa Tahir
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It‘s an overcast fall day that‘s made for a blanket and a book. In other news, I forgot how long it takes for a pumpkin pie to bake and then cool down before I can eat it. I‘m feeling very impatient.

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ke1lbe1l
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Thankful for this audiobook right now. The author and comedian‘s narration brings a bit of levity to an otherwise anxious weekend. Now for my obligatory Election Week plea: if you haven‘t already voted, please, please, please go as soon as you can. And if you mailed it in, check the status of your ballot.

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ke1lbe1l
Pet | Akwaeke Emezi
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Angels aren‘t pretty pictures in old holy books just like monsters aren‘t ugly pictures. It‘s all just people. Doing hard things or doing bad things, but it‘s all just people. Our people ... So pictures could be wrong ... Pictures could be flat out lies, but what she was really thinking was pictures could be misleading. That made more trickster sense — showing your eyes one thing and tripping your feet in another direction.

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ke1lbe1l
Pet | Akwaeke Emezi
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Good and innocent. They not the same thing. They don‘t wear the same face.

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ke1lbe1l
Pet | Akwaeke Emezi
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Bitter knew her name was heavy. But she didn‘t mind it because it was honest. That was something she taught Jam. That a lot of things were manageable as long as they were honest. You could see things clearly if they were honest. You could decide what to do next because you knew what you were dealing with.

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ke1lbe1l
Clap When You Land | Elizabeth Acevedo
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4 audiobooks, 2 Kindle editions (Reid and Emezi (Oji)). All thanks to my Libby app and my DCPL card. Read multiple books by 2 authors (Acevedo and Emezi) this month and I want to read even more from both. Reviews in brief: 5 stars for both Acevedo‘s, Pet, and Behold the Dreamers and 4 stars for the others. As with previous months, and thanks to the recs from all of you on #Litsy and bookstagram, I‘m trending ahead of my annual goal of 52 books.

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ke1lbe1l
Behold the Dreamers | Imbolo Mbue
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She was noticing something for the first time ...a white man walking with a white woman, a black teenager giggling with other black teenagers ...Even in NYC. Even in a place of many nations and cultures. Men and women, young and old, rich and poor preferred their kind ... and why shouldn‘t they? It was far easier to do so than to spend one‘s limited energy trying to blend into a world one was never meant to be a part of.

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ke1lbe1l
Behold the Dreamers | Imbolo Mbue
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“People act as if things in America have to be better than things everywhere else. America doesn‘t have the best of everything.”

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ke1lbe1l
Behold the Dreamers | Imbolo Mbue
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“Bad news has a way of slithering into good days and making a mockery of complacent joys.”

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ke1lbe1l
Lot: Stories | Bryan Washington
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It didn‘t take long to see that there‘s the world you live in, and then there are the constellations around it, and you‘ll never know you‘re missing them if you don‘t even know to look up.

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ke1lbe1l
Clap When You Land | Elizabeth Acevedo
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There‘s no one over there, alive or buried, who held me as a child, who cradled me close, who fed me from their table, who wiped my knees when I scraped them. Here, despite the bad and ugly, is my home. And now I wish that I could stay. Does anyone ever want to leave the place they love?

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ke1lbe1l
Clap When You Land | Elizabeth Acevedo
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Tia is a woman woven of miracles ... Tia is a woman who speaks to the dead, who negotiates with spirits, who loosens their fingers when they clutch around the neck of someone who wants to live.

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ke1lbe1l
Homegoing: A novel | Yaa Gyasi
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Another month, another group of very solid reads completed. Everything on this list is 4⭐️+. I realized all but Luminous Republic are full of strong female characters, so I guess I accidentally stumbled onto some very empowering subliminal (and explicit) messages about how we survive and thrive in so many different settings. Hoping to circle back with reviews & quotes but it‘s been all I can muster the last few months to just get a retro post out.

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ke1lbe1l
Luminous Republic | Andrs Barba
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Only halfway through this one but already recommending it. I have so many highlighted sections I want to come back to and explore further.

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ke1lbe1l
Parable of the Sower | Octavia E. Butler
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August reads - Would recommend each of these even moreso than last months‘ reads. It was very difficult to pick a favorite this month, but who doesn‘t love a barely futuristic (set in the 2020‘s) story of survival of the fittest with a tinge of hope for mankind? Too close to home? Maybe. So read anything else on this list. I guarantee you‘ll like it. (Minus some anti-Asian sentiments in Bradley‘s, which I had a strong knee jerk reaction to.)

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Sunday snuggles with the latest library ebook

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July reads. Would recommend all of them, but they‘re rated in order clockwise based on how much I‘ve found myself thinking/talking about them.

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ke1lbe1l
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“I tell you Adunni - even if you marry my father and you think all your hope is finished, your mind is not finishing. Inside of your mind, you can be the teacher you want.”

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ke1lbe1l
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“My stomach cannot be swelling every year because I‘m looking for boys to give Morufu. The only thing I want to be swelling is my head and my mind with books and educations.”

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ke1lbe1l
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Mehso-so

It was a quick read but I‘m not sure how I feel about the big picture - the writing drives empathy to the main character, who is ultimately and undeniably a Nazi soldier. Read Dominic Green‘s review in the New Republic for a more explicit take on what I‘m talking about. Not saying I agree 100% with the review but I can see why this story is entirely dissonant with my readings of Arendt, Frank, Frankl, Wiesel, and so many more

BarbaraBB Great review! 2y
Leftcoastzen That article put into words all the doubts I had about this book. 2y
14 likes2 comments
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ke1lbe1l
How to Do Nothing | Jenny Odell
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Pickpick

Although I doubt I‘ll ever connect with birds in my surroundings like the author has, there are other patterns and beings I can observe and learn from, and I appreciate all that I gain from slowing down when I garden or draw or just observing when I am walking my dog. The book itself is intriguing but I really enjoyed it because I learned of many other books, artists, and movements I want to research.

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ke1lbe1l
Station Eleven | Emily St John Mandel
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June reads. 3 audiobooks and a Kindle copy, all thanks to Libby, my DCPL card, and rainy days and long runs for giving me a chance to escape the real world and delve into someone else‘s thoughts (fiction or nonfiction) for a while. My favorite of this group is tagged but I‘d recommend reading all of them.

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ke1lbe1l
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Pickpick

It was heavy on the middle aged man melodrama, but there were some good dialogues and inner monologues that speak across gender, nationality, etc. I enjoyed the narrator on this version of the audiobook.

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ke1lbe1l

“They use a training manual instead of sacred scriptures. With promotion and high salary as their equivalent of enlightenment and paradise. A new religion for a pragmatic age.”

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ke1lbe1l
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“Never be constrained thinking about things freely ... but it seems to me that thinking about things freely can‘t be easy. It means leaving behind your physical body. Leaving the cage of your physical flesh ... and letting pure logic soar free.”

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ke1lbe1l
Station Eleven | Emily St John Mandel
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Just finished The Street (Ann Petry) and jumping into Station Eleven. This epigraph serves as an interesting and relevant bridge into a different novel.

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ke1lbe1l
The Street | Ann Petry
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Grateful for recommendations from Litsy and Bookstagram that I don‘t think I would‘ve read otherwise. I‘ve already highlighted a dozen things and written reflections throughout. I‘m quickly attached to the main character & her son and want to see them succeed. And in that context, as I flip through Zillow or Airbnb and dream of a change of scenery, I realize how spoiled I already am for the comfort, security, and view from my own bed.

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ke1lbe1l
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Pickpick

I had to actively accept and move past the privilege that was so casually oozing between the lines of this text - connections to Ivy-league educated medical professionals, not considering herself of any particular good luck, etc. But having dealt with the grief of losing one parent and managing the serious illness of the other, there were striking moments of relatability in her prose. And it can help to hear how someone else processes it all.

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ke1lbe1l

All year I have been keeping time by last years calendar. What were we doing this day last year? ... I realized today for the first time, my memory of today a year ago is a memory that does not involve John. ... John did not see this day a year ago.

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ke1lbe1l
Pickpick

Needed this. Fast read and made me laugh out loud. Do not skip the afterword by her husband. Ali Wong, thank you for bringing me this mental escape amidst quarantine.

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ke1lbe1l

Couldn‘t make it through without recommending alternatives or supplements - especially related to the early childhood chapters - Positive Discipline by Nelsen (logical consequences are such a better approach than any she discusses). Also read anything on/by Piaget, Maria Montessori, Vygotsky, or John Dewey (Experience and Education) if you‘re interested in learning more about philosophies and science of childhood development.

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ke1lbe1l
Mehso-so

If you want an approachable review of data re: common questions for new parents, this fits the bill. But if you make it through this book without rolling your eyes at her bougie take on things (the audiobook narrator‘s voice doesn‘t help), I‘d be surprised. Ultimately, just skip to “the bottom line” section at the end of each chapter. Full disclosure, I‘m not yet a parent but read this because I‘m in early childhood ed and heard decent reviews.

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ke1lbe1l
Who Fears Death | Nnedi Okorafor
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“When I am not moving toward my fate, it comes to me.”

Nothing better than lazy Sunday reading time... and I highly recommend this book if you‘re interested in some quarantine escapism.