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lovelybookshelf

lovelybookshelf

Joined September 2016

Twitter/Instagram: @lovelybookshelf | Classical musician. Unschooling mom. Anarcha-feminist. Queer (enby/demi). They/them. www.lovelybookshelf.com
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The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich
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We Are Okay | Nina LaCour
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WE ARE OKAY focuses on coming to terms with and moving beyond loss, grief, and loneliness. The relationships/friendships between the characters in this book are complex, but more importantly, healthy and respectful. And the characters' diverse identities aren't "issues"! This is such a wholesome read. The quiet, gentle tone throughout had me feeling like I was holding my breath⁠—it was that stunning. What a wonderful character-driven novel.

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#BookSpinePoetry for #boutofbooks #bob26igphoto

Sisters of the revolution,
come with me, escape!
Freedom is a constant struggle.
I'll take you there, pledging allegiance,
children of the new world.

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lovelybookshelf
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Pickpick

Okay, so this definitely has a good bit of ableism and sexism throughout, but I can't deny that I had trouble putting it down. I could fully imagine the world and its technology, and I liked that it wasn't over-explained. The plot moved along at a quick pace, and it brought up some philosophical questions that will stick with me. An exciting page-turner with just enough weird to make for some really satisfying sci-fi.

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lovelybookshelf
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Mehso-so

For the first four stories in this collection, Jacobs' writing is fast-paced, to-the-point, and vibrantly descriptive, and he didn't need a ton of extra words to create that effect. He packed so much creativity and forward motion into such a short space! I couldn't put the book down. Sadly, I struggled with the two longer stories that followed, and they make up 3/4 of the book. It was just hard to come down from the momentum of those first four.

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lovelybookshelf
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Pickpick

I haven't read any book on trans experiences quite like this one. TRANS POWER brings up perspectives and conversations that you don't tend to hear very often. The intimacy, the love for people in the community is so powerful I almost feel protective of the words inside. I love how NOT binary this book is. It creates an incredibly affirming, empowering space. (continued in comments)

lovelybookshelf Juno says after interviewing Michael, "They always push me to extend my line of thinking beyond my comfort place to a place where it tests the idea." And really, that's what TRANS POWER does for its readers.This is an emotional read that encourages readers to push their intellect beyond simplistic statements of what it means to be trans into deeply nuanced discussions. Best of all, it ends on a euphoric high note that truly smashes the patriarchy. 7d
Reggie Nice review!! Stacked! 4d
9 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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lovelybookshelf
Escape!: An Anthology | Cari Dubiel
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What a great collection of #shortstories! Perfect for anyone with a quirky sense of humor who enjoys great storytelling, who enjoys sci-fi/speculative fiction/fantasy but wants something different. These #indieauthors delighted me with unique premises and huge imaginations! Full review on lovelybookshelf.com
#sff #scifi #speculativefiction #fantasy #politicalsatire #literaryfiction

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Split Tooth | Tanya Tagaq
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It's time for the #24in48 #readathon! I'm starting off by finishing up SPLIT TOOTH by #Inuk #throatsinger Tanya Tagaq. I have only about an hour left, and let me just say, this #audiobook has been a listening experience unlike any other. 💙 #nativeauthor #canadianauthor #nunavut #poetry #prose #fiction #memoir #24in48readathon #throatsinging

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Pickpick

There's something about the almost impassive tone with which the author narrates her book that made this audiobook especially powerful emotionally. Really enjoyed this beautiful memoir.

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Mehso-so

I love Ben Folds' music, so I expected to love this memoir. But somewhere around the halfway mark, it fell flat for me and I had trouble pushing through to the end. I enjoyed his thoughts on music education, improvising, and the importance of taking care of one's health, both physical and mental. Content warning: There is a brief, too-casual mention of trans violence that uses an outdated, offensive, and likely incorrect word.

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The Warehouse | Rob Hart
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This #dystopian novel is just near-future and realistic enough that it's creepy as all get-out. Smart and clever in a relaxed, never-pretentious style. Definitely a page-turner. I loved hating the Cloud CEO. The Le Guin reference at the end ties in perfectly, and another quote made my anarchist-leaning heart happy and energized. This is an entertaining book, yes, but we should pay attention to its messages and consider ourselves warned.

Laura317 This had me wanting to dump all online shopping and deal only with local shops. Creepy is right, but so good! 2mo
lovelybookshelf @Laura317 oh my gosh SAME!!! 2mo
8 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed the banter between these two characters and seeing their unlikely friendship develop! If you'd like to enter for a chance to win a copy of this book, head over to www.lovelybookshelf.com for the #giveaway details (US readers only, runs through June 25, 2019).

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On Democracy | E. B. White
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Wise words from E.B. White. This book is timeless, unfortunately.

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Feminism for the 99% | Nancy Fraser, Tithi Bhattacharya, Cinzia Arruzza
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Yeah! I really enjoyed this takedown of liberal feminism. This is a fantastic explanation of why liberal feminism fails us, and how it plays into capitalism and perpetuates oppression, even when it seems "progressive." My only complaint is the authors still often defaulted to saying "women" instead of just "people" even while, at many other times, stressing that feminism must be inclusive of trans and nonbinary folks. Still a thoughtful read.

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lovelybookshelf
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Pickpick

What a mind-blowing little book! Blending neuroscience, physics, and philosophy, Annaka Harris explores the mystery of consciousness in straightforward, unpretentious prose. Harris has a knack for helping the layperson imagine seemingly unimaginable concepts, and encourages readers to entertain unanswerable questions. I was afraid this book might trigger an existential crisis, but it was strangely soothing and utterly fascinating.

6 likes1 stack add
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Nonbinary: Memoirs of Gender and Identity | Micah Rajunov, A. Scott Duane
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30 authors share how their experiences are shaped by the deeply entrenched gender binary of our society. Cis and binary trans people can learn so much by opening their minds & taking in these experiences. For those on the #nonbinary spectrum, this is a true gift of representation thanks to the book's breadth. There's an overall message that whatever form a person's journey takes is valid. Your identity IS valid. #genderqueer #agender #demigender

12 likes2 stack adds
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lovelybookshelf
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Pickpick

#BookGiveaway time! (US readers only) I really enjoyed this cozy, charming read and I think you will, too. Visit lovelybookshelf.com to read my full review and enter the #giveaway! (Contest runs through Sunday, March 31, 2019)

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Pickpick

This didn't start off on the best foot. There were moments of ableism, fat shaming, and casual racism in that covert "joking" kind of way. BUT it seemed like more often than not, the characters had moments of clarity about their flaws, learned from them. Denslow has a knack for diving deep into people's emotions/thought processes. The characters aren't always relatable, which I think made them all the more realistic and complex.

12 likes1 stack add
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Pickpick

Anders has been called "this generation's Le Guin," and that is spot-on, especially in the way she created the political, economic, and sociocultural aspects of the Argelan, Xiosphant, and Gelet. It has that "epic journey" feel you get when you've been with characters through intense adventures and personal growth. Loved the layers and nuance. I enjoy hopeful open endings, but I did find myself wishing this one hadn't been quite as abrupt.

11 likes1 stack add
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lovelybookshelf
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I passed by this super cute library in Loxley, Alabama and had to stop to snap a picture! 🥰 #librarylove #library

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Editor | Steven Rowley
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Excited about today's #bookmail from Columbia University Press and Putnam Books! 🥰 📚 Steven Rowley had me ugly-crying with his incredible first book, so I'm going to jump into this one prepared... with a box of tissues...and probably chocolate. 😂

#theeditor #historicalfiction #literaryfiction #nonbinary #gender #memoir #nonfiction

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Sounds Like Titanic: A Memoir | Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman
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Mehso-so

I didn't enjoy this as much as I hoped, mainly because the writing style wasn't a good fit (long passages written in second person are like nails on a chalkboard for me). But there's a lot to think about here: post-9/11 life, imposter syndrome, anxiety, honesty and personal integrity, what "success" means, learning it's okay to be "average". And I'd love to chat with other musicians about this, because that would be one interesting conversation.

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Mehso-so

Holy moly, Maud knows how to play up her elderly status to get away with murder, figuratively and literally. After binge-watching Dexter because he was so compelling, I want more complexity in my murderer pro(?)tagonists. Maud was amusing in a horrifying kind of way, but I didn't find it as funny as the blurb led me to think. Good, but "meh". (CW: Her younger sister had severe anxiety, and it's poked fun of in a mean-spirited way. Because Maud.)

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lovelybookshelf
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I loved the author‘s smooth, easy writing style and the way I felt for each of the characters, no matter how wise (or not) their decisions were along the way. It was also truly delightful how there were all these little threads throughout the book that seemed like interesting tidbits, not much more. But then later on, I‘d discover they‘re actually a deeper layer of the story. Enjoyed this. (Full review on the blog, with content warnings.)

RealLifeReading Pretty cover! 6mo
17 likes1 comment
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lovelybookshelf
Parkland | Dave Cullen
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This has its tough reading moments. But the focus is much less on the actual shooting, more on the survivors finding hope, resilience, working through grief, and organizing to effect change. In an engaging narrative style, Cullen shows us teens with a deep sense of injustice, capable of more than adults give them credit for. We're reminded that kids have their own ideas on how get things done, and deserve to be taken seriously when they speak out.

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Waves | Ingrid Chabbert
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This graphic novel based on the author's own experience features a lesbian couple who faces infertility and infant loss. It is full of grief, yes, but above all, it focuses on the couple's love and how they rebuild. The artwork is wonderful, and I love the powerful way color/black & white is used throughout to highlight and/or invoke moods. A poignant, hopeful, and beautiful book. #LGBTQ #infertility #infantloss #graphicnovels

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Starting book four of #24in48, a collection of poetry by Ursula K. Le Guin from PM Press. 😍 #readathon #24in48readathon

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Binti | Nnedi Okorafor
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Starting off the #24in48readathon with BINTI. #scifi #novella #24in48

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A Dog Called Jack | Ivy Pembroke
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I was looking for a cozy, comforting read. And this was, but I didn‘t expect all the depth it delivered. It achieves a wonderful balance between giving readers a relaxing read and giving its characters realistic—often tough—situations to deal with. It‘s heartfelt without being trite, sweet without feeling saccharine. The humor is gentle; you find yourself chuckling momentarily, but it never breaks the flow. This is a lovely, happy, feel-good book!

12 likes1 stack add
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I'm almost at 1,000 followers on Instagram! I'd love for you to follow me over there, too. You'll see bookish stuff and music stuff - some videos of me playing the harp, too! 😉

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A Dog Called Jack | Ivy Pembroke
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This book is really lovely so far. 💗

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Pickpick

This is so perfectly and beautifully inclusive, wow. It answers all the common questions kids have about sex and gender and their bodies, and so much more. Even the most complex topics are covered in a way that makes it seem so simple, encouraging kids to think for themselves, and get to know themselves, in a healthy, developmentally-appropriate way.

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Third Wheel | Michael J. Ritchie
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I read this in one sitting! Aliens invade Earth, a group of friends tries to survive. Gay and bi characters exist and aren't "issues." I appreciated that. The main character is thoughtful and loves books and his cat. ? Men who aren't afraid to show emotion. No love story, tyvm! Light satire, poking fun at sci-fi tropes, plenty of funny moments, but really reflective on friendship. And of course, the end of the world via nanobot-wielding aliens.

12 likes1 stack add
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Trump supporters are going to hate this book. 🤣 Review coming next week.

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Mehso-so

This is a light, cozy story that treats a heavy topic with a sensitive hand. It has a bit of magic and revolves around Lucy finding her true love. It's very solidly what you would call chick lit, so if that's your thing, you'll absolutely love it. I wasn't into the love story so much, but enjoyed how each character had their own, very distinct personality.

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Pickpick

There's been a lot of hype around this book, and for me, it definitely lived up to it. So many times with post-apocalyptic fiction, I've wanted more details about what it was like as things were deteriorating. This delivered. I also enjoyed the immigrant story aspect, as Candace shares her and her parents' experiences, and I loved how the author subtly ties those feelings in with Candace's present situation.

16 likes1 stack add
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Pickpick

This was a little campy and a whole lot of fun to read! It's centered around a crochet group that meets in a bookstore, which also sells yarn and coffee. How perfect is that? I had a feeling about "whodunit" pretty early on, but second-guessed myself along the way (my original hunch ended up being correct!). It's part of a series, and apparently this is book 9 of 13, but that didn't matter. This cozy mystery is light reading in all the best ways.

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😅 This is TRUTH! I had a yarn store owner change her demeanor from friendly and helpful to cold and dismissive as SOON as she learned I was buying yarn to crochet with. She started talking about how superior knitting is and how crochet was only for the less talented. Lady, I just want nice yarn! I went elsewhere. 🙄😅

CarolynM Weird! Since when was there a hierarchy of craft? 8mo
SaturnDoo I have been crocheting 40 of my 47 years. As far back as I can remember crochet/crocheters have always been inferior to knitting and knitters. It got even worse when the members of the crocheting community developed ways of "knitting" with a crochet hook and creating items that at one time only knitters could make. We are all yarn lovers/creators and that should unite us. Not all knitters act that way, but a lot do. So sad. 8mo
See All 13 Comments
SaturnDoo @CarolynM been going on for many many years ☹ 8mo
CarolynM @SaturnDoo Those people need to get a life🙄 8mo
lovelybookshelf @SaturnDoo I'm a newbie crocheter in comparison, and it took me completely by surprise when that happened! 8mo
SaturnDoo @CarolynM I agree. Crochet has come a long way from what it used to be. A lot of crocheters are knitters too 😂 8mo
SaturnDoo @lovelybookshelf being new to the craft, I am sure it did. But hold your high. You have a whole lot of support out there in the crochet community. ❤❤❤❤ 8mo
SaturnDoo Look/sound familiar @Stacy_31 8mo
Stacy_31 @SaturnDoo yes, unfortunately. ☹️☹️. When I first started to crochet, I went to a yarn store and when the owner found out it was for crochet, she sneered and almost didn't even let me buy the yarn! She said the texture didn't lend itself to such a thing. 😂😂 People seem to be so such more receptive when you say you can knit, too. Like crochet is only for granny blankets, and knitting is for cool people. 🙄😂🙄😂 8mo
Stacy_31 @lovelybookshelf On a side note, this is one of my favorite series! Adele drives me nuts, but these are fun, quick reads. 😁😁 8mo
lovelybookshelf @Stacy_31 Oh my word!! That is just... I'm speechless. What the heck?! Whyyyyyy?! 🙄😂 8mo
7 likes13 comments
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The Wonder | Emma Donoghue
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Ohhh we definitely see the sexism in medicine in this novel. This nurse was trained by Florence Nightingale! And yet... 😐

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Seams Like Murder | Betty Hechtman
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I had gift card money to spend, so I went with something light and fun. I've never read this #cozymystery series before, but #crochet! (I actually haven't read a cozy mystery in about 20 years. Hope these are good!) #crochetmystery #bettyhechtman

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When You Read This | Mary Adkins
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It's been a while since I read a book in one sitting, but I couldn't put this book down. A quirky, heartwarming, bittersweet look at grief - with humor, too. Full review will post on the blog sometime soon.

Cinfhen Never heard of this book before!! Sounds great ~ thanks for posting 8mo
10 likes1 comment
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lovelybookshelf
Bailedbailed

Abandoning at page 80. I'm finding these characters somewhat pretentious, privileged, and cold. I'm so bored. I can't muster the desire to keep reading, knowing that this is a character-driven novel.

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Freefall: A Novel | Jessica Barry
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This was a gripping page-turner! I needed to know more! What was going on, who could be trusted and who couldn't? I had all kinds of ideas about how things would pan out, but I didn't actually know what was up until the very end. My only complaint is that a couple of the women in the book gave off a faint air of med-shaming women with PPD. I wish that had either been countered or left out. It wasn't antagonistic, just insensitive/dismissive.

13 likes2 stack adds
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Mehso-so

This started out great, but somewhere along the way I started getting bored. From the halfway point on I felt like I was slogging to the end. These characters weren't interesting to me, and came across almost cliche as far as musicians go. I don't have strong feelings either way about the novel. But the writing is lovely, and I'm sure I'll give Gabel another try in the future.

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Becoming | Michelle Obama
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I don't get starry-eyed when I think of the Obamas, but I appreciated the kind, thoughtful candor of Michelle Obama's memoir. It chipped away a bit of my own cynicism. I enjoyed hearing about her early life, wisdom she's gained over the years, glimpses into everyday life in the White House. I chose the audiobook: sincerity and hopefulness shine through the soothing cadence of her words. The focus is on human connections, which I found refreshing.

Gaylagal2 Yes she is. Her sincerity, hopefullness is seriously lacking in our current climate. I'm really looking forward to hearing this audio book 🤓 8mo
16 likes1 comment
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lovelybookshelf
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My kid sculpted me in my natural habitat, reading a book. 🤓

RealLifeReading How cute! 9mo
LiteraryinLititz That is adorable!! 9mo
melbeautyandbooks Aw so cute! 9mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa That is adorable!! 9mo
14 likes4 comments
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lovelybookshelf
Come with Me | Helen Schulman
Bailedbailed

The synopsis got me all excited for some speculative/sci-fi goodness, but this is just boring drama with characters I can't stand. Where are the multiverses?! I skimmed some other reviews to see if it was going to redeem itself, but nah. DNF.

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Although cocktails (complete with recipes!) make up the chapters in A DRINKABLE FEAST you can be a complete teetotaler and still enjoy the read. The literary and arts scenes of 1920s Paris come to life through period photos and advertisements and Philip Greene‘s vivid, engaging storytelling. It's narrative nonfiction at its best. This would make a great gift for cocktail enthusiasts or history/arts buffs alike.

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Lord of the Butterflies | Andrea Gibson
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Some of these poems make you want to stop reading and go share them with a friend, now. Others feel like private messages, meant just for you. Some need to be posted on billboards and played over the airwaves for all to see and hear. Gibson's writing reminds us that poetry is for everyone to read.

10 likes1 comment
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LOVE how Maya Gonzalez decolonizes ideas about gender, creating a book truly for everybody.

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The Place You're Supposed to Laugh | Jenn Stroud Rossmann
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I loved reading about this messy, determined family, so full of love. This is a thoughtful "slice of life" novel with a bit of family drama. Finding out what made these characters who they are -- as well as Rossmann's lovely, easygoing writing style -- kept me turning the pages. I didn't want the book to end.