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keepingupwiththepenguins

keepingupwiththepenguins

Joined June 2019

Book reviews for the would-be booklover | Blogging all things bookish at https://www.keepingupwiththepenguins.com
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Pink Mountain on Locust Island by Jamie Marina Lau
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keepingupwiththepenguins
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Pickpick

This book challenges you to see these wives of ISIS fighters as humans, not monsters, subject to the same foils as the rest of us. So many of the young people in this book were frustrated by broken promises of radical change. Are there lessons we can learn here, say, for the Climate Strikers that politicians have failed to mollify? Perhaps. Extended review for subscribers at http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/new-releases/ #NewBooks #NonFiction

MommyWantsToReadHerBook Ooh, stacked! 3d
Cedricsmom Sounds challenging. 3d
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Great Expectations | Charles Dickens
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Are there any books you wish you'd read sooner? I wish I'd taken the opportunity to read Dickens while my grandfather was alive. He loved Dickens, and I know he would've appreciated the opportunity to talk about him with me. PSA: if there's an older person in your life, read the books they love NOW, even if they're not “your thing“. Full list of books I wish I'd read sooner here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/books-i-wish-id-read-sooner/

Cedricsmom I wish I‘d read Great Expectations sooner. Had I known that I‘d like it so much, I would have read it years ago. 5d
Scochrane26 I definitely wish I had started reading Wendell Berry earlier. But I‘m not sure I would have been patient enough for his books at a younger age. 4d
keepingupwiththepenguins @Scochrane26 hahaha that's the trick, isn't it? There's a few authors that I love now and I wish I could've spent longer loving... but would I have been able to appreciate them as much when I was younger? No way to tell. 4d
Cedricsmom This is why it seems like classics are wasted on youth. When we‘re young we haven‘t lived long enough or experienced enough in life to understand the classics. If we live past 50, we can dive in deep to these glorious books. 3d
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keepingupwiththepenguins
Don Quixote: World Classics | Miguel Cervantes
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Mehso-so

I‘m stuck in the 20th century as far as literary critique of this one goes; critics in that era came to view the story as a tragedy, where Don Quixote‘s simple idealism is rendered useless by a harsh reality. Sure, there are plenty of quick quips and slapstick encounters, but really, the truth at the heart of the story is terribly sad. Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/don-quixote-miguel-de-cervantes-saavedra/ #ClassicBooks

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The writing is like Leo Tolstoy meets Gabriel Garcia Marquez meets Elena Ferrante. I couldn‘t honestly call The Eighth Life an “easy” read in any sense, but it is a deeply worthwhile one. Your heart will swell, get torn to pieces, then stitched back together again; you‘ll feel part of the Jashi family, with all the joy and devastation that entails. Full review for subscribers: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/new-releases/ #NewBooks #Translated

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Tropic of Cancer | Henry Miller
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I love me a dirty banned book! For once, I can actually see why the censors kicked up such a fuss - there is a LOT of filth. That said, Miller wrote more about food than he did sex (understandable, given that he was literally a starving artist at the time of writing). Tropic of Cancer isn't stream-of-consciousness, but it's something adjacent to it. Full review: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/tropic-of-cancer-henry-miller/ #BannedBooks

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The Golden Bowl | Henry James
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Panpan

By the end of the first page, I could tell that James liked to use 20 words (and as many commas) to say something that could be said in five. Red flag number one! I hoped it would improve but (spoiler alert) NOPE! I came to dread even picking up The Golden Bowl before I‘d reached the end of the first chapter. I finished it, with gritted teeth and LOTS of determination... Full review: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/the-golden-bowl-henry-james/

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keepingupwiththepenguins
Solid Air: Australian and New Zealand Spoken Word | David Stavanger, Anne-Marie Te Whiu
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I can think of no higher praise than to call this book a conservative nightmare. Solid Air pushes the bounds of what we think of as a “poetry collection“, challenging the erasure of performance poetry, slam, and hip-hop from the publishing world. It is a comprehensive view of the spoken word landscape of the past decade, with poets and performers coming together in chorus to amplify and echo a diverse community voice. #Poetry #Poets #Australian

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Don't sleep on this fab GIVEAWAY from Primer: a haul of the best female empowerment books of 2019, including my personal fave SHE SAID, along with Lisa Taddeo's THREE WOMEN, Liz Gilbert's CITY OF GIRLS, and more! Enter via their Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/B3MRhNigXdf/ #Giveaway #BookHaul #MustRead #BestBooks #Feminist #AmReading

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keepingupwiththepenguins
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MUST READ: This is the untold story of what it takes to bring accusations against powerful men to light. Kantor and Twohey don‘t simply paint a portrait of Weinstein as a monster (though they have plenty of evidence to do just that). Instead, they examine the company policies and the power-brokers that enabled a monster to thrive for decades. Full review: https://primer.com.au/she-said-review-jodie-kantor-megan-twohey/ #MustRead #NonFiction #MeToo

Scochrane26 I heard about this on Trevor Noah (daily show podcast). 2w
keepingupwiththepenguins @Scochrane26 Oooh I've heard that's a great pod! Clearly great taste in books 😉 ❤ 2w
Scochrane26 @keepingupwiththepenguins I‘m usually not up late enough to watch the Daily Show, so I‘ve started listening to the podcast, not all the time, but at least 2 a week. I wish I could listen to his personal podcast, but it‘s on a site you have to pay for. 2w
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Her Body and Other Parties | Carmen Maria Machado
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I worry sometimes that when we think of “diverse books“, we revert to thinking about kids/YA and school reading lists. I've written today about the importance of ALL readers diversifying their personal reading lives. Diverse reading makes us better people, and the world a better place. Plus, Her Body & Other Parties is a PERFECT spooky Halloween read! http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/diverse-books-reading-lists/ #DiverseBooks #DiverseReads

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Happy Mean Girls Day! Did you know that Tina Fey adapted the concept for Mean Girls from Queen Bees and Wannabes? I'm so glad she did - it was ambitious and it paid off, this is still one of my favourite films of all time! #October #MeanGirls #Trivia #FunFact

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Spooky reading season is upon us!! I'm a bit of a chicken when it comes to outright horror, but I'm game for thrillers, true crime, and - of course - the classics! What will YOU be reading in the run-up to Halloween this year? #Spooky #ClassicBooks #TrueCrime #Thriller #Halloween #AmReading #October

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Jackson has spent years researching endometriosis and related conditions, and the broader medical system. In Pain and Prejudice, from Plato's wandering womb to the present day, she unpicks the complex social history that has got us to the point where women are expected to suffer in silence. A fascinating read that will fill you with indignant fury. My full review is available to subscribers here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/new-releases/

CaseyLea I‘m really suffering with endo at the moment, so definitely one for me to read! 3w
keepingupwiththepenguins @CaseyLea Oh Casey, I'm so sorry to hear that - this book will definitely speak to you!! Sending you big healing vibes ❤ ❤ ❤ 3w
CaseyLea Thank you, much appreciated 😊 x 3w
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keepingupwiththepenguins
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I LOVE seeing all these Banned Books Week celebrations in my feed 😍 As far as I'm concerned, Banned Books Week is one of the most important events in the literary calendar each year. With today's political climate, more and more institutions seek to silence stories, and this is a timely reminder to KEEP THE LIGHT ON: Censorship leaves us all in the dark, as the theme for this year goes. Read a banned book today, fight the power! #BannedBooksWeek

Scochrane26 I had to remind myself about the importance of not censoring books when I looked at authors coming to KY book fair this year. There‘s an author who wrote a book w/ Mitch McConnell (ky senator). I think it‘s about him. 🤮🤢😡 But, they‘re allowed to write a book, too. Moscow Mitch won‘t be there, of course. 4w
keepingupwiththepenguins @Scochrane26 That's the trick, isn't it? 😆 4w
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The Divine Comedy | Dante Alighieri
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Mehso-so

I had mixed feelings about this one, making it hard to give a review, because Inferno (the first part) was GREAT! Hilarious, engaging, entertaining, loved it... only things started to go downhill in Purgatorio, and Paradiso really stank. In sum, I'd say pick up a copy of Inferno and read that, but you can safely give the rest of it a miss. Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/the-divine-comedy-dante-alighieri/ #Poetry #Classics

zefmii Have you read Vita Nuova (The New Life)? Is kind of a preparation of The Divine Comedy, very short and easy to read. I read it when I was in college (I did a short paper about it, in fact) and I really liked it. 4w
keepingupwiththepenguins @zefmii Ooooh, no, I haven't! Thank you for the tip!! ❤️❤️❤️ 4w
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My Brilliant Career | Miles Franklin
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Mehso-so

The main highlights of My Brilliant Career are the language and Franklin‘s turn of phrase, which reminded me of my grandmother (makes sense, given the time period and geography). On the whole, though, I didn‘t develop a strong feeling about the book one way or another. I probably won‘t read it again, but I wouldn‘t tell anyone else that they shouldn‘t bother. Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/my-brilliant-career-miles-franklin/

CarolynM I first read this when I was 14 years old and fell utterly in love with it. I doubt that it would have had quite the same resonance if I'd first read it as an adult. I absolutely recommend it for teenage girls - there are some marvellously quotable feminist rants in there🙂 1mo
keepingupwiththepenguins @CarolynM Oh yes, it's deliciously quotable! I think I would have secretly enjoyed it as a teenager maybe, but I definitely would have rolled my eyes at the well-meaning adult who handed it to me thinking it was “good relatable content“ for me (yes, I was the worst) 😅❤️ 4w
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Panpan

I couldn‘t help but laugh at times at how truly bad this was, but that doesn‘t mean I don‘t respect the fans Roth has won herself around the world, and the power that a beloved series like this can have in ensuring the continuing literacy of younger generations. I won‘t be reading any more of Roth‘s work, but I don‘t begrudge anyone who finds joy in it. Full review: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/divergent-veronica-roth/ #Dystopia #AmReading

Scochrane26 I really liked (at the time) this one & insurgent, but I loathed the 3rd. She lost a lot of fans of the series with the 3rd. Hopefully, she does better w/ her other books. 1mo
caitlin.reads.books Very respectful review! 1mo
keepingupwiththepenguins @Scochrane26 I've heard that a lot - quite a few people have told me they enjoyed the first and second books, but the third was a stinker. Looks like the same trend played out with the films, too! 1mo
keepingupwiththepenguins @caitlin.reads.books Thank you!! 1mo
Scochrane26 @keepingupwiththepenguins I can‘t remember the timeline of books & movies but pretty sure people gave up on movies because of the last book. I saw the 1st movie only. 1mo
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The Hobbit | J.R.R. Tolkien
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HAPPY HOBBIT DAY! Hope you're all finding fun ways to celebrate Bilbo and Frodo's shared birthday 🤓 I'm flipping through this copy my father gave me as a kid. Seeing as Banned Books Week starts tomorrow, here's some trivia for you: The Hobbit has been banned several times, most notably in 2001, when a Christian group in New Mexico held a LITERAL BOOK BURNING to decry Tolkien's work. Crazy, eh? #HobbitDay #TheHobbit #BannedBooks #BannedBooksWeek

Bookwomble Ironic, given that Tolkien was a devout Christian. 1mo
jb72 I just finished this book a few days ago! 1mo
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keepingupwiththepenguins @jb72 Great timing!! 1mo
Meglet Oh, the irony. (@Bookwomble beat me to it!) Be more well read. Your future protests will thank you. 1mo
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The Breeding Season | Amanda Niehaus
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When a scientist turns to writing poetry/fiction I can‘t help but sit up and pay attention: the merging of oil and milk is too fascinating to resist. This is a story of all-encompassing grief, intensely poetic and full of natural imagery and metaphor. Niehaus brings together all kinds of binaries: art and science, grief and hope, birth and death. Exclusive review for subscribers at http://www.keepingupwiththepenguins.com #7Days7Covers #CoverCrush

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CONTROVERSIAL OPINION: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is a way better book than The Great Gatsby. They're comparable, but Loos‘ effort is just so much better! I think this one is written off as a funny little story about a silly gold-digger, but scratch the surface and you‘ll find a compelling, hilarious account of gender roles, politics, and power in 1920s America. Full review: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/gentlemen-prefer-blondes-anita-loos/

ManyWordsLater How interesting! I‘d always written off this book as silly because I don‘t like the movie. Just goes to show, don‘t judge a book by its movie! (edited) 1mo
LeahBergen I need to pluck this off my shelf and read it soon! 1mo
CarolynM It's a great book🙂 1mo
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keepingupwiththepenguins @ManyWordsLater Oh definitely - the book is much better! It's brilliant! ❤ 1mo
keepingupwiththepenguins @LeahBergen Good idea! 😉 Would love to hear what you think!! 1mo
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The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Thursday 19 September is AUSTRALIAN READING HOUR. Booklovers all over the country #TakeTheTime to read for an hour, to themselves, to their family, to their dog, to anyone who will listen. I love this event, and its powerful reminder that reading rejuvenates us, reactivates us, and reeducates us. Literacy saves lives! The only problem is picking a book from my groaning TBR pile... #ReadingHour #ToBeRead #AmReading #GoodReads #MustRead

Texreader That‘s so awesome!!! ❤️ 📚 1mo
Hooked_on_books I love this! 1mo
LeahBergen This is great! 1mo
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Mehso-so

Here‘s my tl;dr summary: a middle-aged straight white guy in a dystopian future burns books for a living, until he meets a seventeen-year-old hottie and decides to have a mid-life crisis. *shrugs* I know it‘s not a popular opinion, but I really wasn‘t that fussed on it. I think it's great for the highschoolers who need an intro to dystopia. Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/fahrenheit-451-ray-bradbury/ #7Days7Covers #Dystopian

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Pride and Prejudice | Jane Austen
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Pickpick

Austen is a slow burn for me, but I'm glad I persisted. She cloaks a lot of subversive social commentary (even by today's standards) in the mores of her time: wealth and power corrupt, the family unit is symbolically powerful but ultimately ineffectual, and marriage is about community, not romance. There's very little in her books about romantic love, really. Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/pride-and-prejudice-jane-austen/

emilyhaldi ❤️❤️❤️ 1mo
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Never Have I Ever | Joshilyn Jackson
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Mehso-so

This is one for the Liane Moriarty fans. It felt very The Husband‘s Secret-esque, just not quite as compelling. Don‘t come in expecting a lot of bookish chat; that part of the plot is over and done with quite quickly, and you‘ll learn more about scuba diving than you will about running a book club 😅 Exclusive review for subscribers at http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/new-releases/ #NewBooks #BookClub #7Days7Covers

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The Testaments: A Novel | Margaret Atwood
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The Gilead of The Testaments is no longer a burgeoning state, finding its feet. Now, an entire generation of children raised under its strict established regime, with no memory of the old world, are coming of age. A compelling, must-read (and must-re-read) celebration of resistance. Full review on Primer: https://primer.com.au/praise-be-the-handmaids-tale-sequel-is-here/ #TheTestaments #NewBooks

Joseph5 I can't wait to read this book it is on my reading list 1mo
keepingupwiththepenguins @Joseph5 It'll be worth it, promise! 1mo
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This book is not only great fun, it‘s also easy to pick up and put down. Perfect for holidays and other busy periods where your attention might be diverted. It's like a European Forrest Gump, but better! It's now my number one recommendation for a delightful cheer-up read, my go-to for when I need a smile. Full review: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/the-one-hundred-year-old-man-who-climbed-out...

Aims42 I definitely recommend his other books as well as the sequel to this book 1mo
keepingupwiththepenguins @Aims42 Ah! I've been scared to read them! I enjoyed this one SO MUCH, I was worried about being disappointed by the follow up! 🙈 1mo
Aims42 @keepingupwiththepenguins I totally know what you mean, I‘ve been burned before too. I think you‘re safe with his books though, I enjoyed them just as much as this one 👍🏻 1mo
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I assumed–with the Nobel Prize and everything–that this would be a Very Smart(TM) book, dense to the point of unreadable. Not so! It was very accessible, even without having an intimate knowledge of the time period and setting. If you liked Memoirs Of A Geisha, you need to put this one on your TBR (in fact, put it right at the top–trust me!). Full review: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/an-artist-of-the-floating-world-kazuo-ishigu...

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The Husband's Secret | Liane Moriarty
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A woman finds an envelope, written in her husband‘s hand, and it says (*ominous music*): “For my wife, only to be opened in the event of my death”. But her husband is still very much alive, and he won‘t tell her what‘s inside. That's one heck of a premise! Moriarty's breakthrough novel wasn't without its problems, but still jaw-dropping in twists. Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/the-husbands-secret-liane-moriarty/ #Australian

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The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn was published eight years after The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer, and represents – in my mind, anyway – a huge leap forward in terms of Twain‘s craft. It was the first major American novel to be written entirely in vernacular English (i.e., in the slang and local colour of the region), compelling and readable. Full review: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/the-adventures-of-huckleberry-finn-mark-twai... #BannedBooks

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The Wind in the Willows | Kenneth Grahame
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Pickpick

This would be a great one to read out loud to kids, but that‘s not all it‘s good for. It‘s also a great pick for adults who need a little bit of a break from lofty literature. And I‘m glad Grahame managed to turn his rotten life circumstances into a wonderful and enduring story that has become such a major source of joy in so many childhoods – good on him! Full review: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/the-wind-in-the-willows-kenneth-grahame/

batsy I really love this book! Deceptively simple but rich in philosophy. 1mo
UwannaPublishme Great review! 🙌🏻 I just read this for the first time. 1mo
keepingupwiththepenguins @batsy yes! Absolutely! 1mo
keepingupwiththepenguins @UwannaPublishme Fantastic - thank you! 1mo
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Panpan

When you pick up a book called The Life And Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, you figure that you‘re going to read all about… well, the life and opinions of Tristram Shandy, who was probably a top bloke. But you‘d be wrong! Laurence Sterne has some fun in store for us, my friend. This is not a classic book for beginners. Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/the-life-and-opinions-of-tristram-shandy-gen...

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Mehso-so

If you‘re interested in how your thinking meat works, you‘ll get a lot out of this book, but I‘d recommend strongly against having it be your only source of information on neuroplasticity. It‘s flawed in many respects, and the best way to compensate for that is to fill the gaps with other books that do it better. Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/the-brain-that-changes-itself-norman-doidge/ #NonFiction #Science

Crazeedi Interesting review 1mo
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Pickpick

The Hitchhiker‘s Guide To The Galaxy is perfect if you‘re in need of a laugh, as I was when I read it. I‘m not sure I‘d read it again, I didn‘t love it that much, but I‘m glad I did. It made me think a lot about how sci-fi is often maligned, and how varied the genre can actually be, unbeknownst to the readers that look down their noses at it. Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/the-hitchhikers-guide-to-the-galaxy-douglas-...

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Cold Comfort Farm | Stella Gibbons
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Gibbons seems to be the poor cousin of early 20th century authors, ignored by academics and readers alike. She wrote Cold Comfort Farm with her tongue planted firmly in her cheek. It lands somewhere between Jane Austen and Fawlty Towers. I really enjoyed it, in spite of myself (and its cover, maybe there is something to that “not-judging-a-book” business after all). Full review: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/cold-comfort-farm-stella-gibbons/

LeahBergen I loved this book (and I‘m not crazy about this cover, either 😬). 2mo
keepingupwiththepenguins @LeahBergen It's weird, right? I feel like it was designed for someone already familiar with/invested in the book - a bit off-putting/nonsensical for new readers, even though the artwork itself is intricate and detailed. 2mo
ImperfectCJ The cover art is Roz Chast, yes? Are there illustrations inside the book, too, and are they also by Chast? I'm seeing her illustrations everywhere lately. 1mo
keepingupwiththepenguins @ImperfectCJ Yep, that's right, it's Chast - no illustrations in text, but there are a few more on the back cover too. They're great, just they're all kind of in-jokey, only properly appreciated once one's read the book. 1mo
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The Alchemist | Paulo Coelho
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Mehso-so

The cover promises “a fable about following your dreams”, and I suppose it delivered, technically. Like any fable, it wasn‘t a tough read, and I burned through it in just a few hours. The Alchemist reads like a fairytale with very simple and straightforward language; I wondered if it read the same way in the original Portuguese, but I guess I‘ll never know. Full review: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/the-alchemist-paulo-coelho/ #BooksAreMagic

tournevis It's bad in every language. It really is. Trust me. 2mo
keepingupwiththepenguins @tournevis HA! 😅 😅 😅 2mo
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Portnoy's Complaint | Philip Roth
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A repressed Jewish guy whacks his psychiatrist over the head with his Oedipal complex. It‘s funny, engaging, and charming, perhaps a little too dirty for some folks but that‘s how I like ‘em. Reading it is like eating apple pie & ice cream for dinner: you could make an argument that there‘s some nutritional value in doing it, but it‘s just indulgent fun for grown-ups. Full review: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/portnoys-complaint-philip-roth/

Crazeedi Omg I totally forgot about this book, read it when it first came out. Wow, you just took me back!! 2mo
keepingupwiththepenguins @Crazeedi Hahahaha well glad to have sent you on a little trip down memory lane 😉 ❤ 2mo
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We Were Liars | E Lockhart
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The metaphor of Cadence‘s amnesia was masterfully done (it mirrors the WASP-y family tradition of denial), and I haven‘t seen that kind of complexity in many other Young Adult novels to date. All told, I‘d say this is a good one to start with if you‘re an adult-adult who‘s curious as to why so many readers your age are turning to Young Adult fiction. Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/we-were-liars-e-lockhart/ #YoungAdult

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Little Women | Louisa May Alcott
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If you‘re going to read Little Women for the first time, you need to find an edition with a decent introduction. I know not everyone reads the introduction first, but in this case it's important. I would have been adrift without a prior understanding of Louisa May Alcott‘s background and her politics and her motivations behind writing Little Women. Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/little-women-louisa-may-alcott-review/

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Mehso-so

All The Light We Cannot See is readable enough, but I had to Google Translate a few bits and pieces (from French and from German). It‘s billed as a “touching story”, but I don‘t think it really told me anything new about WWII. Plus, I‘m really not sure how I feel about the depiction of a Nazi soldier “saving” a person with a disability... Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/all-the-light-we-cannot-see-anthony-doerr/ #Pulitzer

ValerieAndBooks I have been leery of this and still haven‘t read it — as a deaf person myself, am often skeptical of “disability fiction” written by non-disabled authors (or those who don‘t have family members with said disability). 2mo
keepingupwiththepenguins @ValerieAndBooks You're right to be wary, Valerie - there was something about it that just didn't sit quite right with me 😣 2mo
kspenmoll I could not get into this book at all- bailed! 2mo
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A Brief History of Time | Stephen W. Hawking
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Mehso-so

A Brief History of Time will be great if you‘re after an introduction to the fundamentals of hard science and cosmology, and you‘re determined enough (slash clever enough) to persist through dry writing. If you‘d rather have a laugh with a light read and you‘re not taking the subject too seriously, maybe check out A Short History of Nearly Everything instead. Full review: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/a-brief-history-of-time-stephen-hawking/

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Pickpick

Wilde was so endlessly quotable! I felt like every page of this book had some zinger that I wanted to jot down. On page one(!), he says “there is no such thing as a moral or immoral book”. On page three, he points out that “there is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about”. I could do it all day! Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/the-picture-of-dorian-gray-oscar-wilde/

Freespirit Wonderful book! 2mo
LapReader My copy has lots of folded pages. I agree @Freespirit 2mo
Scochrane26 One of the few classics I love. Read it a few yrs ago. (edited) 2mo
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ValerieAndBooks One of my favorite books!! 2mo
BooknerdsLife Couldn‘t have agreed with you more! I have so many highlights with my copy! 1mo
keepingupwiththepenguins @BooknerdsLife Right?! I was reaching for my notebook every twenty seconds to scribble something down 😅 1mo
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Pickpick

It was a little scary at times, sure, and very interesting, but most of the time I found it just plain funny. Watney was a fantastic narrator, and had me laughing out loud on several occasions. He‘s so likeable that Australian scientists have actually – like, in real life – named a new species of bush tomato after him (Solanum Watneyi). I‘m not even kidding. Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/the-martian-andy-weir/ #SciFi #Funny

Kalebeth I loved that book! 2mo
Texreader Loved the book. Loved the movie. Have seen it several times 2mo
keepingupwiththepenguins @Kalebeth Me too! I really surprised myself, didn't think it would be my kind of thing at all, but I guess it just goes to show...! 2mo
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The Dressmaker | Rosalie Ham
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Mehso-so

The Sydney Morning Herald called it “a feral version of Sea Change”, which is pretty much spot on. Despite the dark ending, there are quite a few laugh out loud moments. The humour is deeply Australian, though, so I‘m not sure how it would translate for an international audience. An interesting Australian gothic, but not without its faults. Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/the-dressmaker-rosalie-ham/ #Australian #Gothic

lynneamch Really helpful review. I may have to skim most of the book and just look for the detailed sewing terminology, as that's right up my alley. In any case, I loved the movie. Is Jane Harper on your Australian author list? High rec for all of hers. 2mo
keepingupwiththepenguins @lynneamch Thank you! You'll find most of the detailed sewing stuff in the first half/two-thirds, it runs out of steam a little towards the end, if that helps? And yes, Jane Harper is definitely on my list - I've got The Dry waiting for me on my TBR shelf, I've read a couple of extracts, she's fantastic! 2mo
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Brave New World | Aldous Huxley
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Pickpick

Brave New World was published in 1931, but it holds up - probably best suited to sociology students, and/or naïve teenagers who need a bit of a wake-up call. It‘s definitely less depressing than 1984, if that‘s your concern – they still have sex, drugs, and rock‘n‘roll in Huxley's version of the World State, after all. Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/brave-new-world-aldous-huxley/ #Dystopian #ClassicBooks

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Sanditon | Jane Austen
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Pickpick

Oxford University Press was kind enough to send me their new edition for review, and it casts new light on Sanditon and Austen's body of work leading up to her final, unfinished manuscript. It has a well-researched author bio, a note on the text, full chronology, and generous explanatory notes. A wonderful, fresh take on Austen's most experimental and poignant work! A full review was sent to subscribers at http://www.keepingupwiththepenguins.com

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Pickpick

The front cover of The Gap promises the story of “a paramedic‘s summer on the edge”, and it delivers! The Gap is the name of a notorious suicide spot, a clifftop at Sydney‘s Watson‘s Bay, and for the summer of 2008, Gilmour worked as a paramedic based out of the nearest ambulance station. Penguin Australia was kind enough to send me a copy of his memoir, and my full review was sent to subscribers at http://www.keepingupwiththepenguins.com #NewBook

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keepingupwiththepenguins
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Pickpick

A governess alone with weird children in an isolated house, complete with bitter housekeeper, mysterious caretaker, and unexplained bumps in the night? Yes, please! Penguin Random House Australia was kind enough to send me a copy for review. It‘s a very contemporary take, but the supernatural elements keep it in the vein of its predecessor, The Turn Of The Screw. My full review was sent to subscribers at https://www.keepingupwiththepenguins.com

Readswithcoffee I just started reading this, so I will read your full review when I have finished. The "creep factor" is high already! 2mo
Litsi Just can‘t read a new version of that masterpiece! 1mo
keepingupwiththepenguins @Litsi I actually enjoyed it more, I think! James and I just do not get along, his writing style is not for me, but the plot and positioning is masterful - this is a great take! 1mo
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Pickpick

Only female mosquitos bite. Of the 108 billion people who have lived on this planet, mosquitoes (more accurately, the viruses/parasites they carry) have killed nearly half. Do you know how elephants defend themselves against the mosquito‘s bite? You‘ll find the answer in Chapter 1, and it will surprise you. Text Publishing was kind enough to send me a copy, and a full review was sent to subscribers at https://www.keepingupwiththepenguins.com

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Paper Towns | Green, John
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Panpan

A tl;dr summary of Paper Towns would be this: two kids living in no-one-gives-a-darnsville get their kicks running around doing dumb stuff, until the mysterious unattainable girl runs away and the boy next door (who “loves” her) chases her across the country. Paper Towns is great for teenagers, but will probably grate the nerves of anyone who has already finished high-school. Full review: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/paper-towns-john-green/

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On the Road | Jack Kerouac
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Mehso-so

On The Road is to the Beat generation what The Sun Also Rises was to the Lost generation of the ‘20s. You‘ll often see them compared, held up side-by-side. I didn't *love* either of them, but I‘m going to plant my flag and say that On The Road was the better of the two, because to my mind it presented a far more self-aware and nuanced treatment of masculinity. Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/on-the-road-jack-kerouac/

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