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melissa.drake

melissa.drake

Joined January 2018

Beware the bookish woman
review
melissa.drake
Pickpick

Jill Lepore is a f*cking genius and if you disagree - I'll fight you behind a dumpster. JK. I'm too weak. But seriously. She's so f*cking smart. This was easily a favorite book for 2018.

P.S. This really hit me in the feels as I largely read it while at the near-identical house next door to where Jane Franklin lived towards the end of her life. So there's that.

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melissa.drake
Pickpick

Another romantic historical fiction set at a crumbling manor with a secretive past haunting those in the present (in this case post-WWII). Not particularly memorable, but an enjoyable read if that's your kind of thing.

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melissa.drake
Newport: A Novel | Jill Morrow
Pickpick

A sweetly romantic historical fiction. I wanted a bit more oomph to it, but at the least found it an enjoyable read.

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melissa.drake
Greener Pastures | Michael Wehunt
Pickpick

Hands down one of the best collections of creepy short stories I've ever read. So weird and unique.

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melissa.drake
The Illuminae Files 3. Obsidio | Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Mehso-so

I finished this almost a year ago. And have forgotten the major plot points. The first book was cool and new, but the 2nd and 3rd largely just felt very - same song second verse - rather than like moving along a story arc.

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melissa.drake
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Pickpick

So so good. Beautifully written - I have never read a true crime book that refuses to lose sight of the victims so well. It is also fascinating to read knowing that the killer would be caught less than a year after the book coming out and comparing where her best guesses came close.

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melissa.drake
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Mehso-so

Not quite as good as the first, though still pretty good!

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melissa.drake
Hell Hound | Ken Greenhall, Jessica Hamilton
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Pickpick

I thought I would hate reading from a dog's perspective, and I really didn't! This is certainly a creepy book - not only with the scenarios presented, but also in how your loyalties shift over the course of the story... 🐕😨💀

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melissa.drake
Beneath the Sugar Sky | Seanan McGuire
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Pickpick

The third Wayward Children book basically picks up from where the first one ended. (Book Two was background on two characters from the first book.) We go to a nonsense world this time and also meet a few new characters. At only about 4 hours in length - this was the audiobook equivalent of a sweet, sugary snack 😉

19 likes1 stack add
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melissa.drake
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Mehso-so

First, I loved this series in high school 😍. BUT, the first 50 pages of this left me really put off. Nothing was all that different from what came before... but I'm different, and the cultural moment we're in is different too. The entire premise of Paul coming back into Suze's life (in Ch. 1) was super gross in the context of #metoo. Jesse's machismo hasn't aged well either. Suze also continued to act much like a teenager. ⬇⬇

melissa.drake I pushed through, and in many ways it did fulfill my expectations of a Mediator novel. There was ultimately some positive character growth, but I can't recommend this for any other reason than nostalgia. 1y
16 likes1 comment
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melissa.drake
Daughter of the Siren Queen | Tricia Levenseller
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Pickpick

Oh, this book was so much fun: bloody, steamy, and fast-paced.

19 likes1 stack add
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melissa.drake
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Mehso-so

You will feel the same way about this book as you do the podcast.

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melissa.drake
Joe Gould's Teeth | Jill Lepore
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Pickpick

This was a very thought-provoking book which, while I finished it nearly a week ago, I'm still digesting. Lepore tracks her own investigation into Joe Gould as well as providing a somewhat fuller/broader biography of him than what Mitchell wrote. It self-consiously engages with the nature of biography and the larger historical concern of who is remembered/deemed important, as well as Gould's very complicated relationship with this concern.

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melissa.drake
Joe Gould's Secret | Joseph Mitchell
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Pickpick

I was initially reading Lepore's book, but she referenced these two New Yorker essays by Mitchell so frequently that I really felt I needed to read them myself. So after finishing Part 1 of Joe Gould's Teeth, I picked up Joe Gould's Secret. Presented back-to-back, these two biographical profiles are not only very well-written, but are a striking illustration of the power dynamic between author and subject.

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melissa.drake
The Cruel Prince | Holly Black
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Pickpick

Holly Black! I didn't read you for so long and this is everything I could have hope for and more! So good! Can't wait for the next book!

18 likes1 stack add
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melissa.drake
The Cruel Prince | Holly Black
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Sweet berry lime bundt cake, Stranger Things mug, and the -gorgeous- naked hardcover of The Cruel Prince 😍

Not a bad way to start the day! 😊😊

readinginthedark 😍😍😍 1y
27 likes1 comment
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melissa.drake
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This #bookhaul largely dates to last month - which was my birthday month and is to blame for the taller than usual stack for me! A couple also came home with me from a #littlefreelibrary oops 😁

The tagged book will be hanging out on my coffee table for awhile - couldn't make it to the UK for the exhibition, but this book is the next best thing to Floo Powder!

mrozzz Floo powder! 👌🏻 1y
GripLitGrl Nice haul!👍 1y
21 likes3 comments
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melissa.drake
The Wild Robot | Peter Brown
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Pickpick

This was a smart and thoughtful middle grade novel. Roz is a curious robot who learns to talk to animals and becomes "wild" thanks to her adaptive learning programming. As an adult reader, it can feel a little slow and simplistic, but I can see this really clicking with some kids' imaginations. As with any good robot book, there is also some epic fight scenes with laser canons ?

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melissa.drake
Flawed: A Novel | Cecelia Ahern
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Pickpick

I'm not super into YA dystopia as a premise so, save for The Hunger Games, I have largely avoided that subgenre. This was better than expected, which is probably largely due to Ahern's experience as a writer - while this may be her YA debut, she's been publishing books for years - and this was apparent in the plotting and writing quality: confident and showing a sure hand. It was really quite enjoyable, and I plan to finish the duology.

18 likes1 stack add
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melissa.drake
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Mehso-so

Horror short story collection. Mixed bag. Some were good (The Dinner Party) - the opening story was particularly creeptastic. Some were bad (All the Pretty Girls) - can we just not with violence against women being the crux of the grisly gross-ness of a horror scenario?

Cameo of my rosemary plant that I probably killed because I forgot to water it for two weeks. 🌿💀

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melissa.drake
I Kill Giants | Joe Kelly
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Pickpick

By the end, tears were rolling down my cheeks and my heart was well-squeezed. #tearjerker

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melissa.drake
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#AYearAThon May 2018 - Rereads/Graphic Novels

I didn't really have any rereads that I wanted to get to at the moment, so I focused on graphic novels and got a fair bit knocked off my TBR. I Kill Giants, Seconds, and Lumberjanes were my fave of this batch, and Goldie Vance is really growing on me. I think Bad Machinery doesn't really marathon read well, and I have some more volumes of it which I will peruse more slowly and see how that goes.

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melissa.drake
Daughter of the Siren Queen | Tricia Levenseller
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"The sound of my knife slitting across a throat feels much too loud in the darkness."

(As this is a sequel I've edited for spoilers ?)

#openingline

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melissa.drake
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Pickpick

An eclectic mix of authors, many older, but also a few newer authors mixed in. The tonal registers are also varied - including more amusing, satirical tales, to truly creepy, eerie ones, and others that veer more heartfelt and sentimental. I also thought that Niffenegger arranged the stories in a very well thought out order, with threads of similarity often running from one story to the next - be it in content, theme, or tone.

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melissa.drake
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Pickpick

I actually enjoyed this sequel more than the first. The humor was slightly less sharp, but Hale did a good job of complicating some of the stereotypes that she leaned into to create humorous characters in the first book - I liked it. The story was more contained, the cast of characters remained largely the same, and the plot of the mystery was fairly light - enabling the greater character development while still keeping it a fast-paced read.

KateFulfordAuthor If you need another recommendation, may I point you to my People‘s Book Prize nominated debut? Sassy female narrative, laugh out dialogue and a pacy plot. Check the link in the bio for 2 free chapters, reviews and more. 1y
19 likes1 comment
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melissa.drake
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Pickpick

I'm loving these novella length SFF releases from Tor - sometimes digging into a big chunky SFF read sounds nice in theory but feels intimidating in reality when I have a lot on my plate life-wise. These shorter reads are just the right length, where I can get lost in a well written story in a place far from real life, but I can also feel accomplished when I'm able to finish it relatively quickly 👍👍

Traci1 💙💙 that cover. 2y
17 likes1 comment
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melissa.drake
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Ugghhh this month has been super busy so it's been ages since I posted here. I started reading this right at the start of April and while this has been my main read of the month, I'm still only just over half way through. Hopefully the last few days of this month will be a bit more calm.

I picked this up from a #littlefreelibrary and it's the third book in a series, but I haven't found it too difficult to jump right in!

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melissa.drake
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Pickpick

Beautiful, as always. Can't wait for the next volume!

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melissa.drake
Magpie Murders | Anthony Horowitz
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melissa.drake
RoseBlood | A. G. Howard
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Bailedbailed

Admittedly, the vanity red ink didn't get me started on the right foot with this one, but I really did want to give it a chance as the narrator's voice and situation (American girl starting at European boarding school) put me in mind of the Shades of London series. BUT the whole set-up is unignorably silly. Rune suffers from an embarrassing singing "compulsion", there's mentions of auras and chakras (lol), and my patience, frankly, has run out! ?

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melissa.drake
RoseBlood | A. G. Howard
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So I'm finding this hard to capture on camera, but if the above text looks vaguely reddish, that is because it IS!!! I don't know WHO at the publisher's thought this was a good idea and signed off on it, but the entire book is printed in red ink!!! WHY????? This is driving me and my eyeballs nuts! 👀 😵🙅

BarbaraTheBibliophage Sounds like a printing gimmick not a reading feature. Ugh. 2y
14 likes2 comments
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melissa.drake
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Pickpick

Haunted houses are probably one of my favorite types of creepy reads and this literary horror novel was a #quickread that ticked that box quite nicely. It progressed briskly and maintained a tense, suspenseful atmosphere throughout!

20 likes1 stack add
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melissa.drake
Oyster War | Ben Towle
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Pickpick

Reminiscent of Tin-Tin's cartoony style, this was a fun, swash-buckling, standalone adventure. The beginning was a little text/exposition heavy, but it balanced out once the story got going.

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melissa.drake
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Pickpick

Quite a few chuckles to be found here. Doesn't come close to Me Talk Pretty One Day for me, but that is a high bar to beat!

19 likes1 stack add
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melissa.drake
Beartown: A Novel | Fredrik Backman
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I've been hearing people rave about Backman for ages now - guess it's finally time to give him a go! #LitsyBuddyRead

monalyisha If I weren‘t doing #freakyfriday, I‘d definitely participate in this! I still haven‘t read Backman yet, either. 2y
swatreads This is my favourite Backman😍😍 2y
melissa.drake @monalyisha Too many books, too little time! 📚 📚 2y
melissa.drake @swatreads I think I've heard this one is a bit different from some of his ither ones, but I'm looking forward to it all the same! 2y
17 likes4 comments
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melissa.drake
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Pickpick

I did really think it was pretty light and fun overall, but after reading this second, concluding volume, I am left confused who the intended audience is. For something that seems to be otherwise appropriate for younger readers, Cannibal Coliseum gets really quite gruesome! 🤢

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melissa.drake
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Pickpick

So much fun! A cooking show in space! 🚀🍳🍴

21 likes1 stack add
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melissa.drake
The Hazel Wood | Melissa Albert
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Mehso-so

So. I was really excited to read this. The cover and endpapers are get-out-of-here gorgeous and I was feeling the premise. And, at least initially, I was on board.

The beginning had some enticing Night Film vibes (cameo in the pic 😜) with the whole cult-following of Althea and her dark fairy tales. Alice wasn't particularly likeable, but her life hadn't been particularly easy either, and I enjoyed seeing her interactions with Finch ⬇⬇

melissa.drake and her step-sister. Her relationship with her mother, though, never really clicked for me, which is pretty critical to the drive of the plot working. Overall, though, I liked that first half of the book. Once we really get into the fantasy world though... blah. Boring and arbitrary. Not for me. And again, I didn't really feel much anxiety about what was happening with her mother. ALSO. The whole book was SO SLOW. The writing really weighed itself down. 2y
21 likes1 comment
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melissa.drake
Magpie Murders | Anthony Horowitz
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Pickpick

This was SO fun!! I like a good old school mystery and this was a glorious homage to the genre. Narrators were both v good as well 👍👍

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melissa.drake
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Mehso-so

The title and basic premise (bookseller discovers a body with a mysterious photo in its pocket which sparks her to begin an amateur investigation) would lead one to expect this is a cozy mystery - and heads up, it's not! Things quickly become much darker, though it never reaches the level of grittiness or bleakness that makes up a good chunk of contemporary crime fiction. Fortunately, this wasn't a turn-off for me, and I largely enjoyed it.

melissa.drake Edit: I have bumped this down to a so-so after getting a little more distance from it. 2y
16 likes2 comments
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melissa.drake
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Pickpick

Delightful! And clever! 🐈

#catsoflitsy

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melissa.drake
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Pickpick

?

Haha it's not often too scary, but occasionally one will really land creepily well, probably due to each of our own weird little collection of neuroses. There are some longer form stories as well, mixed in with the "fears".

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melissa.drake
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Graphic novels and comics library haul!

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melissa.drake
The Terror: A Novel | Dan Simmons
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Snow day stuck inside 🌨 ➡ starting an icy, snowy book ❄

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melissa.drake
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Mehso-so

Historical romantic suspense, this was certainly entertaining and I flew through it. There were many interesting historical details about railroads and the medical profession in mid-19th cent England, and Elizabeth was a likeable protagonist. That being said, I didn't find her believable to the time period - it stretched plausibility to the point of taking me out of the story, and, as a result, I found the ending overly tidy and unsatisfactory.

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melissa.drake
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#bewarethebookishwoman

I can only imagine how horrified Mr. Addison would be of reading women and their libraries today 😂😆😂

Time to go drool over some shelfies 😁

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melissa.drake
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Pickpick

An enjoyable listen. The narrator had just the right amount of Scottish brogue - enough to add to the sense of setting but not so much as to make it difficult to understand him.

The plot wasn't wildly twisty and unpredictable, but the characterization along the way made the final reveal believable.

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melissa.drake
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Pickpick

I found this to be a more slower-paced read, and I certainly enjoyed it overall. In particular, I appreciated how distinctive each of the main three women's personalities were and how that played out in their varying experiences of wartime and post-WWII Germany.

I was first drawn to this book as it was from an uncommon perspective for a WWII novel, and I initially thought the author was playing it rather safe ⬇⬇

melissa.drake . . . in terms of the choices made by her characters before and during the war - I was very gratified to have that perception upended later on. 2y
melissa.drake Also, if you were uncertain as to why Marianne was so horrified by Benita's choice in lover I might suggest checking out Ordinary Men by Christopher Browning. It gets a shout out in the Authors Note, and it is a case study of what was happening on the Eastern Front. I can't say I recommend it though, as I honestly think it left me a slightly more cynical person. 2y
14 likes2 comments
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melissa.drake
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Pickpick

There were certainly some emotional ups and downs, and it ended very sweetly - which was nice as it is the end of a trilogy. Nnedi Okorafor's imagination is a marvelous thing to experience!!

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melissa.drake
By Gaslight | Steven Price
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Thunderstorms are one of my all-time favorite things, but I also love the quiet that settles in during a snowfall. Tagged book is a long book that I hope to pick up soon. #thisorthat @RealLifeReading

18 likes1 stack add