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mklong

mklong

Joined September 2016

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Bowlaway: A Novel by Elizabeth McCracken
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Cassandra at the Wedding by Dorothy Baker
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The Snakes by Sadie Jones
review
mklong
Larose | Louise Erdrich
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Mehso-so

This is a case of, it‘s not you, it‘s me. Erdrich‘s writing is excellent; the characters are well drawn and sympathetic, though flawed; she writes as well about the 19th century as the early 21st; but even so, I still found this a slog. Somehow there is too much and too little going on at the same time.

Tanisha_A That cover though! 😍 3d
48 likes1 stack add1 comment
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mklong
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Pickpick

This novel uses Michelangelo‘s actual letters and drawings to imaginatively fill in the gaps and tell a story of his early 16th century trip to Istanbul. It‘s a good story, well told, but I don‘t really have much more to add than that.

44 likes1 stack add
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mklong
The Dreamers | Karen Walker
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Pickpick

I picked this up because it was so often compared to Station Eleven. I wouldn‘t say that it is quite that good, but it was still an entertaining read. For a book about people falling asleep, it is surprisingly well paced and plotted. It's also elevated by the ambiguity that Walker leaves the reader with.

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mklong
So Much for That: A Novel | Lionel Shriver
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Panpan

If a series of Facebook rants somehow became a novel, it would be this one. At first, all of characters ranting was funny, even a bit cathartic, but once I realized that that‘s pretty much all there is here, it grew extremely tiresome and repetitive. It finally reached a point at the end where I was emotionally involved, but it‘s too little too late. If this book had been 250 pages long I might have liked it. 450 pages of it though, no thank you.

BarbaraBB Great pic! 🌷 1w
mklong @BarbaraBB Thanks! 1w
48 likes2 comments
blurb
mklong
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I subscribed to a local produce CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and got my first share yesterday. Check out all these gorgeous veggies! I‘ll be relying a lot on the tagged book, organized by vegetable, to cook up these beauties. I was pleased to discover that he even has recipes for that kohlrabi! I‘d love any other vegetable-centered cookbook suggestions y‘all have.

Emilymdxn That‘s so cool! 1w
Weaponxgirl That‘s awesome! There is this cookbook and I love Nigel slaters book on vegetables. He gives you common things that work flavour wise with what veg. 1w
saresmoore I love my weekly CSA share. ♥️ And I will definitely be checking out that cookbook, Shirley! @Weaponxgirl 1w
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mklong @Weaponxgirl Thanks! That‘s exactly what I‘m looking for. I‘m trying be more creative with all this stuff than “let‘s make a salad” 1w
mklong @Emilymdxn @saresmoore I‘m excited about it! I found a great recipe in this one for the radish greens, that I really didn‘t know were edible 1w
Tamra Yum! 😋 1w
kathedron There's some very tasty recipes in this 1w
mklong @kathedron Looks great, thank you! 1w
mklong @Redwritinghood Thanks Jerrie! That looks like exactly what I need. 1w
48 likes10 comments
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mklong
Lost Children Archive | Valeria Luiselli
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Pickpick

So this is a novel about a crumbling marriage, a road trip, cruelty to Native Americans, cruelty to migrant families (especially children), and the place of art and history amid all of this. That all sounds like way too much, but somehow it worked for me. Luiselli is guilty at times of trying too hard to make the mundane seem profound, but she pulls it off often enough to create some gorgeous prose, that I‘m willing to forgive the missteps.

Redheadrambles @mklong I am so happy you enjoyed this as well - nice review 2w
GatheringBooks second time today i‘ve read a rave review about this novel - it is calling out to me! 2w
Redwritinghood I‘m working my way through it slowly. I‘m glad you liked it. 2w
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mklong @Redwritinghood I‘m interested to see where you land on it. It wasn‘t universally loved in our little group, so you‘ll have company wherever you end up. 2w
mklong @GatheringBooks I hope you like it! 2w
mklong @Redheadrambles Thanks Trudie! I‘m on a bit of a roll recently. The last 11 books I‘ve read all rated at least 4 stars. 2w
53 likes2 stack adds6 comments
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mklong
The Gene: An Intimate History | Siddhartha Mukherjee
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Pickpick

Ask me anything, I‘m a genius now! Well, at least it feels that way after reading this book. Of course some of it went over my head (I‘m still not clear how to make insulin), but less than I expected, owing to Mukhergee‘s incredible ability to make very complicated processes comprehensible to a lay person.

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mklong
Untitled | Unknown
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Who is ready for a little Summer ToB?! I like the changes they have made this year, and let‘s face it, a camp where you stay inside and read is my kind of camp! Check out all the details and vote for your favorites here... https://themorningnews.org/article/announcing-camp-tob-2019

tpixie Is this an in real life camp? 3w
hermyknee Oh this is awesome! Those titles sound fantastic 3w
mklong @tpixie No, it‘s a readalong, they are just being funny calling it Camp ToB 3w
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mklong @hermyknee Right? I‘ve only read two of them, but they all look great. 3w
tpixie @mklong 😀. I‘ll have to look at this more carefully later on! Happy reading! ♥️📚♥️ 3w
Redwritinghood I voted! I have a few of those sitting unread on my shelf and voted for them, so I hope those get picked. 3w
mklong @redwritinghood Awesome! I love that they are letting readers be more involved in selecting the winners this year. 3w
38 likes7 comments
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mklong
Ghost Wall | Sarah Moss
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Pickpick

This suffered a bit at first from all the hype. However, as it went on, I began to appreciate the power and atmosphere that Moss was achieving with very few words. The condensed narrative lends itself to the oppressed and claustrophobic atmosphere even as the characters are in wide open space. The themes here are nothing new, but even though the ground is well covered, Moss does enough to make it worth revisiting.

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mklong
Dance to the Piper | Agnes De Mille
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Great idea @vivastory It is hard to choose, but here are a couple of favorites. I read The Summer Book as a Litsy Buddy Read a couple of years ago and fell in love with Sophia and her Grandmother.

And Agnes DeMille is an all time favorite for this dance lover. I‘ve been wanting to reread this one, so you may see it as a nominee when it is my turn. #NYRBBookClub

batsy The Summer Book is one of the loveliest things I've read 💛 3w
LeahBergen I loved The Summer Book, too. 😍 3w
vivastory I have The Summer Book. Still TBR. Will definitely be bumping it up seeing all of the love for it. The other one sounds great! 3w
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mklong @LeahBergen @batsy Have either of you read True Deceiver? I loved The Summer Book so much that I‘d like to read more by her 3w
batsy @mklong I haven't and it's high on my list! 3w
saresmoore I loved The Summer Book and really loved another of hers, 3w
51 likes1 stack add6 comments
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mklong
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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Pickpick

A novel that is rooted within Igbo ontology but reads as a metaphor for competing emotions, instincts, and beliefs within a self that can be hard to balance. These have been given spiritual manifestation in Ada‘s body, and she is forced to find a balance between all the competing trauma, religious beliefs, and questions of gender identity, in order to find anything like peace. It didn‘t always land for me, but is a remarkable novel all the same.

Redheadrambles It looks like you sort of appreciated it by the end I think we roughly fell into a similar place on this one and also maybe the Ghost Wall by the sounds ;) 3w
mklong @Redheadrambles Yes I did. I appreciated the ambition of it, even if I found it convoluted at times. And yes, I think we‘re going to end up right in line on Ghost Wall too. 👯‍♀️ 3w
54 likes2 comments
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mklong
The Pisces: A Novel | Melissa Broder
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Pickpick

Well, that was weird...but I liked it...I think. It was sad, but also funny and insightful...and God, this thing is really impossible to review. I guess all I can say is that I liked it, and will never be able to explain why. I‘m sorry, that is probably not at all helpful.

merelybookish Haha! I understand. It felt like it was pushing boundaries and I did like that, although i didnt always enjoy reading it. 1mo
mklong @merelybookish Same here. I didn‘t really need the endless fish sex details, but I admire Broder for not shying away from those details. I mean if you‘re going to go there, go all the way and she did. (edited) 1mo
MaggieCarr One of the weirdest books I have ever read. Can't look at white couches anymore without chuckling to myself. 1mo
ClairesReads It‘s such a weird experience to try to explain. Glad you liked it! I think I did too. 4w
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mklong
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Pickpick

I will not pretend that a lot of this didn‘t go over my head, but I loved it all the same. I love the way Smith leaves so much ambiguity, that you never get tired of turning it over and over in your mind afterward.

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mklong
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Pickpick

“Where to be saved you only must save face
And whatever you say, you say nothing.”
Seamus Heaney

Oh now this was great! Keefe uses the mystery surrounding the murder of a young widowed mother of ten (yes, ten) to tell a much larger story of the actions of the IRA during the Troubles. It is richly detailed, but the details don‘t slow down the narrative all. This is probably the most page turning non-fiction that I have ever read.

readtheworld I really enjoyed this one as well! It was great on audio. 1mo
Redwritinghood Sounds great! I‘m eagerly awaiting this from my library. 1mo
ohyeahthatgirl Chris Hayes did a great interview with him about the book on his podcast, Why Is This Happening. It definitely made me want to pick up the book. 1mo
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mklong @Redwritinghood I hope you get it soon Jerrie! I think you‘ll really like it. 1mo
mklong @readtheworld Yes! I could have listened to that accent all day. 1mo
mklong @ohyeahthatgirl I‘ll have to check out that podcast. Thanks! 1mo
54 likes1 stack add6 comments
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mklong
Cassandra at the Wedding | Dorothy Baker
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Rainy day #bookmail! Cassandra has arrived and, as usual for NYRB, looks lovely. From the back cover description, it sounds like she may deserve this agression from the T-Rex 😂

#NYRBBookClub

BarbaraBB It looks so attractive! And you received it quickly. I don‘t expect mine to arrive before the start of May! 1mo
vivastory I should receive mine on Monday. I love the T-Rex! 1mo
LeahBergen Yay! 👏🏻👏🏻 1mo
54 likes3 comments
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mklong
Price of Salt: OR Carol | Highsmith, Patricia
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Pickpick

Patricia Highsmith is an author who is often recommended to me, but this is my first time reading her. Her writing beautifully captures the danger of Therese and Carol‘s situation, even when they don‘t fully understand or deny it, with such a deft touch that you might not realize she‘s doing it on purpose. You feel her intention, without seeing her hand in it at all, just brilliant.

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mklong
Spring | Ali Smith
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Pickpick

Wow.

I am tempted to leave my review at the one word, but I guess I'll say a little more here. Ali Smith illuminates the seeming intractability of our dark and confusing times better than anyone else I've read, and yet, she manages, without naivete, to provide a light in the dark. It's her very clear-eyed understanding of what we are facing, that makes her hopefulness believable.

And yes, shameless boasting about my signed edition 😊

Leftcoastzen Yay! I am on wait list at the library and I am already tired of waiting!😂 1mo
63 likes1 comment
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mklong
Shirley | Charlotte Brontë
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Pickpick

So late to the #ShirlitesUnite party, but I‘m glad I finally finished! I'm not the biggest fan of Jane Eyre, so I went in with a bit of trepidation here. It started a bit slowly, and with a very Jane-ish character at the center, but once smart ass, progressive, Shirley comes to town, everything picks up. Shirley is described at one point as the kind of woman you fall in love with a year after meeting her. My kind of girl all the way then.

LeahBergen It certainly did have a slow start but I ended up loving it. 👍🏻 1mo
batsy Yes! ❤️ 1mo
merelybookish Yay! Glad you perseverved! 1mo
51 likes1 stack add3 comments
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mklong
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I was so very jealous seeing all the posts from the #readingretreat at Gladstone‘s last week, that I decided to book my very own reading retreat in the Serenbe community just south of Atlanta. I even get to bring my dog! Bliss.

Mitch That looks loooovely ❤️❤️❤️ 1mo
mklong @Mitch Thank you so much for the inspiration to do it! 1mo
TheSpineView How wonderful! 1mo
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Mitch @mklong shutting the world out, taking the pace down a notch and doing what you love - have fun xx 1mo
squirrelbrain How lovely! Enjoy...❤️📚 1mo
Leftcoastzen Wow that sounds great. 1mo
Redwritinghood Sounds wonderful! I hope you have a lovely time. 1mo
49 likes7 comments
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mklong
The Subtle Knife | Philip Pullman
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Pickpick

I am so enjoying revisiting this wonderful series on audio. The full cast performance is excellent!

manifestsanity This was my favorite in the trilogy. Can't wait for the His Dark Materials series on HBO later this year! 2mo
mklong @manifestsanity Same! I‘m only hoping it‘s better than the movie adaptation from several years back. 2mo
ClairesReads Oh I reread these a couple of years ago. They were absolutely my childhood faves and they are still some of the best books I‘ve ever read. I love them. 1mo
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mklong
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Alright, I‘m going in! I like to take on these doorstop books in tiny bites, so it will probably take me a few months to finish.

vivastory I have this same edition. I have been meaning to read it... 2mo
BarbaraBB It‘d very readable. And good. Enjoy! 2mo
LeahBergen It‘s wonderful! 2mo
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mklong @BarbaraBB @LeahBergen Good to know! I‘m looking forward to it. 2mo
mklong @vivastory I wish you would. I‘d love to have someone to chat with about it as I go. 2mo
vivastory I will tag you when I start it. I'll begin Sunday/Monday. 👍 2mo
mklong @vivastory Yay!!! 😊 2mo
mklong @vivastory The introduction is pretty spoiler-y so I‘d skip it if I were you. It‘s one of those intros that assumes we‘re all familiar with the plot. 2mo
vivastory Thanks for the heads up. I usually read the introduction afterwards, but I was thinking of reading this just for some background information on the author & the history of where the book takes place. 2mo
MellieAntoinette Let me know if it‘s worth it? This has been on my radar but I‘ve strongly hesitated for some reason! 2mo
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mklong
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Pickpick

I enjoyed reading the history of the Los Angeles library and the investigation into the 1986 fire, but when she broadens into a more general discussion of the place of libraries in our communities, it felt like a well trod path. That is obviously an important point, but Orlean doesn‘t bring anything new to that discussion.

Silly Sandy is meant to be posing with the book, but she decided to demonstrate downward dog instead 😂

Lauram She‘s adorable! 2mo
Tanisha_A Your girl is cute 2mo
britt_brooke Cutie! 💚🐾 2mo
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Leftcoastzen So cute! 2mo
LeahBergen She‘s so sweet!! 2mo
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mklong
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Pickpick

Subversive and hilarious, I adored this one. Sometimes the best way to express fear and anxiety really is with sharp humor.

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mklong
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I came into this hearing all the comparisons to the Fyre Festival fiasco but the take down here is far less fun than the Fyre Festival story because what Holmes was up to was infinitely worse than selling tickets to a fake concert. A scam is one thing, but this one risked the health of hundreds of patients and would have done even more damage if not for the courage of whistle-blowers. It is fascinating, infuriating, and well worth the read.

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mklong
Lanny: A Novel | Max Porter
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Pickpick

This book made me feel the way that I did reading The Secret Garden when I was nine years old. That was the first time I understood that reading was magical and essential. I can give a book no higher praise.

Abailliekaras High praise indeed! 😜 2mo
batsy That sounds lovely! 2mo
ClairesReads Very high praise Katie- you‘ve inspired me to check this one out 2mo
lroseriver Oh wow! Sounds really interesting! 1mo
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mklong
Thus Bad Begins | Javier Marías
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Mehso-so

I recognize the brilliance and beauty of the writing here as a meditation on time and history and memory, but as a whole, this didn‘t really work for me. Instead of sinister and foreboding, I found it to be withholding. Instead of richly detailed, I found it discursive and repetitive. Also, so so much male gaze.

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mklong
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Pickpick

Interesting take on the controversy around genetically modified crops by an anti-GM activist who changed his mind when he learned more about the science behind them. Poor messaging at the outset unfortunately allowed a false narrative about the safety of these products to take over. However, the larger debate now is about who controls these products, who has access to them, and how that affects global food supplies. Fascinating stuff.

KendallMorganHall Great picture. What pretty flowers 2mo
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mklong
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Pickpick

I loved this reimagining of the Iliad from Briseis‘s perspective. But that‘s just it, I loved it when we were getting Briseis‘s perspective. Too often Barker shifts away from her, to an omniscient third person narration of events that she isn‘t present for, which pulled me away from the intimacy of her story.

LaurenReads Yes! I kept getting annoyed when Achilles was “thinking” 2mo
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mklong
Tenth of December: Stories | George Saunders
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Pickpick

Saunders uses his dark and surreal style here to cut right to the heart of American materialism and feelings of inadequacy. He is endlessly creative, but in this collection, that creativity feels sharp and impactful instead of gimmicky.

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mklong
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Mehso-so

This is my first Denis Johnson and I‘m guessing this may not be the best place to start. There is some undeniably gorgeous writing here, but I had a hard time caring about any of it. Somehow it felt as though there was a wall between these characters and me.

63 likes1 comment
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mklong
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Pickpick

Fantasy is not my thing at all, so the fact that I enjoyed this, is a great credit to Marlon James. After loving his previous novel, I was very excited about this one. While I am surprised that this is what he chose as a follow up, I love that, even after so much success and acclaim, he has pushed himself to do something totally different. I didn‘t get swept away into the 5-star experience that many others did, but it was a good ride nonetheless.

gradcat You may have convinced me here...at the very least, you‘ve got me thinking about reading it. I, too, must admit (o, the shame!) that I‘m not a big fan of fantasy either. 3mo
Tamra Kerri Miller of MPR just long interviewed him and I only caught the last couple of minutes, but I plan to listen to the podcast. If interested, google search her (or him) & MPR and you‘ll find her page and podcasts of all her daily shows. 😁 Fantasy isn‘t my genre either, but I‘m going to try it! 3mo
Redwritinghood I‘m still working on this one. 3mo
mklong @Redwritinghood @gradcat @Tamra I hope you enjoy it! I don‘t think it will change your mind about fantasy in general, but James‘s imagination is wonderful to behold. 3mo
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mklong
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Pickpick

The adjectives that kept coming to mind while I was reading this one are fresh and fun. Of course, Roupenian doesn‘t hit them all out of the park, but her voice and style are vibrant even in the couple of stories that don‘t quite land. My favorite is the delightfully eerie “Sardines,” but there were several other standouts too. I‘m here for whatever she does next.

Pruzy The eeriness of Sardines was great. I also thought Nice Guy was even better than the much hyped Cat Person. 3mo
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mklong
Last Samurai | Helen Dewitt
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Pickpick

For the first half of this book, I was in love and ready to marry it, but at about the halfway point when there is a shift of perspective from mother to son, I decided we were better as just good friends. At times the fitting of the narrative into the structure that Dewitt has created can feel forced. It's as if the structure gets in the way of the narrative. The gorgeous writing never falters though.

kathedron The dinosaurs, though! 😍 3mo
mklong @kathedron Thanks! They came from this great Etsy shop, https://etsy.me/1oGrgyN 3mo
Stephaniereads1 I love the pic!!! 2mo
rubyslippersreads 💚💚💚🦖🦕 2mo
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mklong
The Italian Teacher | Tom Rachman
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Mehso-so

A good story and a nice, light read, but I‘m afraid I didn‘t find it to be much more than that. Everything about it seemed only skin deep. From the plot to the characterization there was so much more to develop and explore that it feels like a missed opportunity. #TOB2019

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mklong
Becoming | Michelle Obama
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Well, I flew all the way to Seattle to see Michelle Obama with my best friend and was thwarted by the snow. When the Tacoma appearance was postponed, we bought tickets to see her in Portland the next day, only for that one to be postponed too! These lapel pins were the closest we could get to the lady herself this weekend.

Chrissyreadit Oh no! I‘ve heard the ice is bad on the roads from my family visiting Portland. Sorry you missed seeing her! 3mo
dgingo Oh no! I‘m sorry that happened, but hopefully you got some good BFF time! 3mo
sprainedbrain I‘m sorry!! That‘s terrible. 3mo
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Zelma Wow, that really sucks. I am so sorry about the disappointment! 3mo
RavenLovelyReads I‘m sure not seeing her was a huge bummer...but it sounds like you had a wonderful adventure!! 😉 3mo
Jas16 Such a disappointment! 3mo
Bookladylinda That‘s a bummer!!!! ☹️ 3mo
LeahBergen Ohhh, too bad! 🙁 3mo
Stephaniereads1 Oh man! 2mo
64 likes9 comments
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mklong
Shirley | Charlotte Brontë
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Lunch with Shirley at my messy desk. Well, not actually with Shirley, as she hasn‘t shown up yet. I can‘t wait to start calling people “conceited noodle!”

#ShirlitesUnite

merelybookish 😆 Starting to wonder who Shirley will be to merit the book's title! 4mo
saresmoore @merelybookish Same! #whereisshirley Ha! It took me three tries to get that silly hashtag right. (edited) 4mo
Weaponxgirl Here! 4mo
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saresmoore @Weaponxgirl 😂 Oh, I‘m so glad to have found you! 4mo
Libby1 I was amused by how many times characters in this book “unclose” the door instead of open it! 3mo
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mklong
Shirley | Charlotte Brontë
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What an opening! What have I gotten myself into?! 😂😂😂

#shirlitesunite

Redwritinghood “as unromantic as Monday morning “ - love that! 4mo
LeahBergen I loved this bit. 😆😆 4mo
merelybookish I think she's setting our expectations low! But it is a great comparison! 4mo
batsy Oh, that's brilliant! 4mo
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mklong
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Pickpick

A collection of essays about Esme Weijun Wang‘s experience living with, among other illnesses, schizoaffective disorder. It‘s rare to read about schizophrenia from someone who lives with it, rather than someone who treats or studies these conditions. Her take on the way that patients with schizophrenia are often left out of decisions about their own treatment, is certainly debatable, but is an invaluable perspective.

hermyknee I‘m interested in reading this one. 4mo
saresmoore Gah! The clerk at my local indie was reading this today and I was filled with envy! 4mo
mklong @saresmoore @hermyknee I hope y‘all will tag me if you read it. I‘d love to chat about it. 4mo
saresmoore Will do! 4mo
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mklong
The Golden State: A Novel | Lydia Kiesling
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Mehso-so

Another meh book from #TOB2019. A young mother tries to flee the stress of her life after her husband is deported under complicated circumstances and a crisis at work, to her grandparents' home in rural Alta Vista. Kiesling does well to create a feeling of isolation, loneliness, and frustration throughout, but I am left wondering what the point of all of it is as it all feels aimless.

merelybookish I bailed on this midway through. She accurately depicted life with a toddler. Tedious and dull. 🙄 4mo
mklong @merelybookish I wish I had done that! I kept hoping she was going somewhere with it. 4mo
Redwritinghood @mklong @merelybookish I also bailed on this one. So not impressed with TOB picks this year. 4mo
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merelybookish @Redwritinghood @mklong I've read 5 and bailed on this one and one of the play-ins. I seem to have lost the oomph to read many more. Im rooting for Milkman. 4mo
BarbaraBB @Redwritinghood @mklong @merelybookish Oh no. I still need to read this one. I did find some good ones on the shortlist though. Current favorite is 4mo
mklong @BarbaraBB @merelybookish @Redwritinghood l‘m underwhelmed by this year‘s list too. I liked House of Broken Angels, but am definitely rooting for Milkman! 4mo
BarbaraBB @mklong Another one that‘s still waiting for me. It scares me a bit but I‘m happy you and @merelybookish vote for it. That‘s a big recommendation! 4mo
64 likes7 comments
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mklong
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Pickpick

Janice Galloway's writing is brilliant and so viscerally puts you in the mind of someone sinking into a deep depression that it is uncomfortable. It has turned out for me to be one of those novels where I can't actually decide if I liked it. I appreciate it, and I'm glad I read it, but I'm also very very glad to be out of Joy Stone's head. It is doubtlessly a truly affecting book, but I can't recommend it as a nice way to spend a weekend.

jy0tiar0ra I felt the same about Charlotte Bronte's Villette and Khaled Hossini's A Thousand Splendid Suns. Both are fabulous novels, but very depressing. 4mo
Redwritinghood Seems we are on the same page with this one - appreciated but not enjoyed. 4mo
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mklong
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Pickpick

Whoa. This was intense and astonishing. I‘ll avoid plot details, because, frankly, they may put people off, but this dark and twisting story is so vivid and rich in detail, it feels as if the book itself is alive. For such a long book, it never dragged and I was never counting how many pages were left, rather I was pulled more and more deeply into the story.

Tamra This sounds great! 4mo
Kaye Great review 4mo
Tamra Thank you for posting about this - it was AMAZING!! 2w
mklong @Tamra I‘m so glad you liked it! 2w
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mklong
Transcription | Kate Atkinson
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Mehso-so

I hate to say it, but this was a miss for me. I wanted to give Atkinson a pass here because of how beautifully and poignantly she writes about grief in this novel, but I can't forgive her for boring me. This is all very slow-paced and, for the most part, feels like the stakes are pretty low. I've also not seen Atkinson write a main character who is as clueless as Juliet often is before. I really tried to love this, but I can't.

saresmoore Interesting that you say Juliet was clueless. I found her very endearing in spite of her somewhat detached perspective, but she still seemed sharp to me, ever drawing connections in her own aloof way. 4mo
mklong @saresmoore Your take is interesting too. I definitely don‘t think she is stupid, maybe just naive. And to be fair, she is very young and in an extraordinary situation, but her attempts at espionage always seemed like amateur hour to me. 4mo
saresmoore That‘s a good point; she was definitely not the most deft of spies, or even amateur sleuths. The world sort of happened around her and eventually happened to her, mostly regardless of her interaction with it. Hmm, you‘ve led me to really ponder this—thank you! 4mo
mklong @saresmoore You have done the same for me. She was young and inexperienced in 1940 and made a lot of mistakes, but maybe she used that reputation to her advantage by 1950 when she went double agent. 4mo
ClairesReads Totally agree Katie 3mo
61 likes5 comments
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mklong
The House of Broken Angels | Luis Alberto Urrea
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Pickpick

This story is about a large Mexican-American family who is losing their patriarch, sooner than most of them realize. The family is large, sprawling, and cacophonous as is the narrative structure where they exist. While that choice served the characters and the feel of the novel well, it left me, as a reader, feeling on the outside. Despite this, there are moments of true warmth, love, and laughter that make it well worth reading. #TOB2019

thebluestocking I‘m so glad you liked this one. Ive been on the hold list for this one the library for months! 4mo
55 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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mklong
The Maze at Windermere: A Novel | Gregory Blake Smith
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Pickpick

Now, this was brilliant. Five different story arcs over the course of five centuries in Newport, Rhode Island. The stories blend historical fact and fiction, all the while referencing and echoing each other, intersecting, then veering away from each other, just like, well...a maze.

BarbaraBB Sounds great! Stacked. 4mo
mklong @BarbaraBB It really is. It was on the TOB long list, but missed the cut for the short list. I would have loved seeing the TOB discussion of it. BTW, the brackets are out this week!! 4mo
BarbaraBB @mklong Oh wow, really? I didn‘t know! 4mo
Pamwurtzler Definitely stacked!! I love Newport. 4mo
67 likes6 stack adds4 comments
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mklong
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Mehso-so

I know most people loved this one, but it just had too many problems for me. For all the excellently drawn characters, like Charles and Maude, the main character felt very underdeveloped. His whole personality seems defined by his sexuality, which isn‘t enough. I also couldn‘t overlook the incredible reliance on coincidence and the way the plot points were telegraphed well before they happened, making it all feel predictable. #UnpopularOpinion

Alfoster If you can get through the first part of his next one you might like this one! I found Furies to be hard to get into as well, but loved this!😍 4mo
AnneFindsJoy I know we are in the minority , but I‘m with you on this one- I put it down and haven‘t picked it back up to finish. 4mo
AnneFindsJoy @Alfoster so good to know this, I have been very tempted to try this new one- the reviews from everyone have been enticing! 4mo
59 likes3 comments
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mklong
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Pickpick

Fascinating history of the race to stop a major Cholera outbreak in 1854 London, made all the more difficult by the prevailing, completely inaccurate, miasmatic theory of contagion. A triumph of scientific research and deep local knowledge, the cause was found and contained even though no one yet knew of the microbe that causes the disease. The narrative is a bit repetitive, but all in all a solid read.

mklong Pictured with the pretty cake I made for book club. Though with the conversation centering on cholera, cesspools, and inadequate sewer systems, I‘m not sure anyone will be hungry 😂 5mo
valeriegeary I would definitely eat that.... Even if I was listening to someone talk about cholera 🤣🤤 5mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Your cake is beautiful 💗💗 5mo
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AmyG Your cake is beautiful! Yum (edited) 5mo
merelybookish 😋😋 5mo
hermyknee That cake though 😍 5mo
Reviewsbylola Very pretty. 🍎 5mo
TiredLibrarian I loved this; amazing story! 5mo
LeahBergen Whoa! That cake! 😍 5mo
Crazeedi Ooohh I definitely am adding this one! Btw, yummy cake! 5mo
Redwritinghood OMG - that cake! 😋😋 5mo
batsy I'm crashing your book club for that cake 😁🍰 5mo
mreads 🍰❤ 5mo
LauraBeth That cake! 😍 Gorgeous 4mo
AnneFindsJoy 🍰 ❤️😍 Mmmm that looks incredible!!! 4mo
76 likes7 stack adds15 comments
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mklong
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Pickpick

A fun Christmas cozy mystery. I don‘t typically go for a cozy mystery, but for a relaxing Christmas wind down, this totally hit the spot.

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mklong
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Solid three stars. There is nothing really special here, but I enjoyed spending time with these characters. #TOB2019

Redwritinghood Glad you liked it, too. 5mo
AceOnRoam Good to know! 5mo
56 likes2 comments
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mklong
Becoming | Michelle Obama
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I switched from the ebook to the audio for this one and am so glad that I did. I finished listening on my way to visit family today and was sad when it was over. It was so very nice to spend time with Michelle again. I‘ll get to see her on her book tour next month and am beside myself with excitement!

hermyknee I just got the hardcover of this for Christmas, and I used my audible credit to download the audio so I can switch back and forth depending upon what I‘m doing! 5mo
PrezBookster I just received this for Christmas and I‘m stoked!!! 5mo
ClairesReads Yass so excited for you Katie! 5mo
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Emilymdxn Where are you seeing her on the tour? 5mo
mklong @Emilymdxn In Tacoma. Other side of the country from my home, but I‘m visiting my BFF there. 5mo
mklong @hermyknee @PrezBookster 🙌🏻 I hope you both love it! Pretty sure you will. 5mo
mklong @ClairesReads Thanks Friend! 5mo
71 likes7 comments
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mklong
Merry Christmas, Everyone! | Linda Lowery, Richard Keep
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I finally got a few minutes to myself to open my #jolabokaflodswap package from @rsheldr ! Thank you so much, it is perfect! Now I‘m ready to crawl into bed with my new book and chocolate frog before the madness starts all over again tomorrow morning. Merry Christmas everyone!

And a huge thank you to @MaleficentBookDragon for organizing such a fun swap!!

Redwritinghood Merry Christmas!🎄🎁 I hope you have a great holiday, Katie! 5mo
mklong @Redwritinghood Thanks Jerrie! The very same to you!! 5mo
62 likes2 comments