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phyhill

phyhill

Joined October 2016

Books for me and books for my boy.
review
phyhill
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Pickpick

I stayed up late finishing this one, only to find the last line is a cliffhanger. So, that's the story of how I ordered book #6 at 1am. This continues to be a fun series and this one felt a little different. The police presence was missing for most of Flavia's investigation, so she had different obstacles. Made it feel fresh, rather than having her fight the same fights in every book.

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phyhill
Thursday Murder Club | Richard Osman
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This struck a good balance of being light, but not too light, like if Fredrik Backman wrote a mystery. I've been reading the Flavia da Luce books, about an 11-year-old British sleuth, so it was fun switching to this story about amateur British sleuths in their 70's.

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phyhill
Thursday Murder Club | Richard Osman
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My afternoon... 🌞 📖 🌴

21 likes2 stack adds
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phyhill
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Mehso-so

Too much action, not enough character growth for my taste. I liked Stellan Gios though.

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phyhill
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Mehso-so

I liked this, but I didn't love it like I hoped I would (and kind of expected to, based on her other books). The main character frustrated me. I didn't dislike her, but it's hard for to relate to someone so incapable of talking about things.

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phyhill
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Summer has just started, but I'm already planning for the best season of the year: Publishing Season! I'd say I'm equally excited for all three of these.

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phyhill
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Current reads. I'm feeling a little scattered at the moment, so I'm not very far into any of these. But I like everything I've read so far!

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phyhill
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Panpan

My husband and I listened to this audiobook while working on jigsaw puzzles. It had some interesting anecdotes, but didn't have much of a narrative. I would have liked more context about what was going on outside the zoos.

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phyhill
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I just discovered this adorable Little Women fabric last night and I think I have to make a quilt now.

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phyhill
I Am Half-Sick of Shadows | C Alan Bradley
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Pickpick

Each of these has been better than the last. I was excited, when I finished the last one, to learn that this one was set at Christmas. It really felt like the Christmas special of a BBC show, like "Father Brown" or "All Creatures Great and Small." I love Christmas and I loved how Bradley used it as a backdrop without being too saccharine.

emz711 They're the best! 2mo
9 likes1 comment
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phyhill
She Is Haunted | Paige Clark
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Pickpick

I loved this! Great writing and interesting characters. The stories dealt with similar themes, places, and several had a character named Elizabeth, but the approach was very different from one to the next. I also enjoyed the feeling of the physical book. It opened easily and felt good in my hands. Maybe that's a weird detail to share in a review, but it increased my enjoyment of the book.

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phyhill
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Mehso-so

I feel bad saying this was only so-so, because I ended up liking it a lot. I had to get the audio to get through it though. The beginning is just SO sad that I lost the motivation to keep going. I've sort of accidentally collected a backlog of Star Wars books though and wanted to push through! (I read multiple books at once, but more than one Star Wars book at the same time might confuse me.)

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phyhill
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Pickpick

It's not April anymore, but I'm still reading poetry. Harjo presents the Trail of Tears with such urgency. She places it in the context of music contemporary to the time, bending time so that everything feels recent. Emily Dickinson, for example, her poetry is so prevalent and I don't think of her as the distant past. She was six years old when Harjo's family was forced to leave their homes.

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phyhill
Atomic Anna | Rachel Barenbaum
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Our third stop for Independent Bookstore Day was Page and Pallette in Fairhope, where my picky 12 year old finally found a book. I got the tagged book and the Barbery. My husband got the book in the center. (I didn't make it to the store in Mobile, where I actually live, but it's the one I go to regularly and have my Libro.fm membership with, so I don't feel *too* bad.)

KathyWheeler Which one to you generally go to in Mobile? I also live here, but usually go to BAM because it‘s closest to me. (edited) 2mo
phyhill BAM is closer to me, too, but I go to The Haunted Bookshop when I'm downtown. 2mo
9 likes2 comments
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phyhill
The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel | Diane Setterfield
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Stop number 2 for Independent Bookstore Day: The Book Inn in Fairhope. This is a used bookstore and the cover of the other book I got needs some TLC (sticker residue, etc) and was NOT ready for pictures.

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phyhill
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My family and I went to three independent bookstores for #IndependentBookstoreDay. This was what we got at Bodacious Bookstore in Pensacola. I'm super excited to have gotten the freebie Kawakami. My husband got the Yanagihara.

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phyhill
Prognosis: Poems | Jim Moore
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Poetry Month continues...

This was a moving collection. Moore writes about aging, melancholy, loneliness, and watching his country falling apart. I am always surprised by the universality of the specific, the way the musings of a man 30+ years older than me can feel so much like my own.

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phyhill
Time Is a Mother | Ocean Vuong
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Started off Poetry Month with this amazing collection that isn't actually released until Tuesday, but Barnes and Noble sold it to me yesterday.

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phyhill
Juliet, Naked | Nick Hornby
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Mehso-so

I liked Nick Hornby a lot when I was younger. I thought his newest was pretty mediocre, but decided to read this one...which has been on my shelf since 2009. It wasn't great either, but it made me laugh a couple of times.

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phyhill
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Pickpick

This series has really grown on me. It's as cozy as a blanket...or a cup of tea.

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phyhill
West: A Novel | Carys Davies
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My weekend reading.

City of the Beasts is my son's. He liked it better than I did, but still thought the depiction of the native people of the Amazon was insensitive. ("Did they have to be called yellow on every page?") I thought the writing was a bit stiff for Allende.

West was surprising. It had a satisfying ending that didn't go the way I thought it would.

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phyhill
Will and Testament | Vigdis Hjorth
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Mehso-so

Finished this today. The weather is gorgeous here today and it felt especially so, sitting on my deck reading this depressing story set in the snow and rain of Norway in January. There was so much in the book that was done well, but as others have said, it could have been shorter. Great writing and interesting asides about Bo and Klara, but I think it could've been edited a little more.

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phyhill
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Started this yesterday. Fingers crossed the poems aren't all by (white) men!

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phyhill
The Painted Drum: A Novel | Louise Erdrich
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Pickpick

I had to read this with a pencil nearby because there were so many beautiful lines. I started it before Christmas and it got set aside in the busyness of Christmas, birthdays, a new year, our anniversary and then Valentine's Day. I had today off, but my husband and son didn't, so it was a good, quiet day to come back and finish this. It reminded me a little bit of PEOPLE OF THE BOOK by Geraldine Brooks.

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phyhill
Dark // Thing: Poems | Ashley M Jones
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⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Jones writes powerful poems, with intimacy and care.

KathyWheeler I loved this book. 3mo
6 likes1 comment
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phyhill
The Planets | Dava Sobel
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Pickpick

For most of my adult life, I've had the habit of acquiring books I know I'll want to read eventually but have no intention of reading at the time. I got this book in 2005, right after it came out, when I was working at Dutton's Books. It was interesting reading a book about the planets that was so beautifully written, but predates Pluto being demoted to a dwarf planet and the landings of the Mars rovers. I loved it though.

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phyhill
Will and Testament | Vigdis Hjorth
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Part of my TBR pile. I'm starting the tagged book today.

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phyhill
The Lost Daughter | Elena Ferrante
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The blurb on the front calls this a "novel of maternal ambivalence" and I don't agree. That only reinforces the idea that there's only one kind of way to be a good mother, which is absurd.

This is the third book I've read this month published by Europa.

10 likes1 stack add
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phyhill
Flights | Olga Tokarczuk
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Pickpick

I read most of this before Christmas, then finished it over this past weekend. It's odd, because it's little fragments and not a linear story, but I think it would have been better without the break. I'd like to read to again sometime.

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phyhill
Anna Papers | Ellen Gilchrist
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I spent the day in New Orleans yesterday and I always have to stop at Faulkner House Books when I'm in New Orleans. I picked up this first edition Ellen Gilchrist.

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phyhill
The Lost Daughter | Elena Ferrante
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My Sunday morning: hockey practice and Elena Ferrante.

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phyhill
Treasure Island!!! | Sara Levine
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Pickpick

If you've ever wondered what would happen if an aimless sociopath were to become obsessed with Stevenson's TREASURE ISLAND, I have the book for you! 😜 This has been on my TBR list for years and it was completely bonkers. I can't think of a single person I would recommend it to, but I thought it was great.

Chrissyreadit I love your review. 6mo
7 likes1 comment
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phyhill
Farewell, My Lovely | Raymond Chandler
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Mehso-so

Twists, turns, and a private eye that gets knocked unconscious every fifth chapter, just about. Great dialogue and one liners, but the racist language made me cringe.

4 likes1 stack add
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phyhill
A Single Rose | Muriel Barbery
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Pickpick

My first read of 2022 (pictured here with all the books my husband gave me for Christmas and my birthday, which was last week). I enjoyed the atmospheric descriptions of Kyoto's temples. Made me want to go there even more!

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phyhill
Untitled | Unknown
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My parents gave me this hoodie for Christmas. 😜

sprainedbrain That‘s awesome! 😂 6mo
mcctrish That‘s a FANTASTIC hoodie 5mo
4 likes2 comments
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phyhill
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Pickpick

Oops, looks like I forgot to post this one! I liked it better than the first one. I felt like the setting of the 1950s was much more obvious and I enjoyed all the new side characters.

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phyhill
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Pickpick

I listened to this on the drive to my parents' house in TN. I wish it had felt a tad more Christmas-y, but other than that it was a lot of fun.

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phyhill
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Mehso-so

This was cute enough that I'll probably try another one in the series, but it wasn't quite as clever as I'd expected.

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phyhill
Code | Pence
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Pickpick

This was an interesting collection of poems focusing on DNA, disease, motherhood, and human connection.

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phyhill
Fresh Water for Flowers | Valrie Perrin
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Mehso-so

I really liked how this started. I thought it was going in a different direction and I think I might have liked it better if it had. It was okay, but not a favorite.

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phyhill
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Pickpick

This was a fun, bookish mystery. Makes me want to reread Pride and Prejudice (again).

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phyhill
Wolves of Andover | Kathleen Kent
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Mehso-so

I didn't love this one. It was okay, but it's a prequel to The Heretic's Daughter, which is really good, so I expected more. There were multiple storylines, but I still didn't feel like much was happening. I guess it's hard to build romantic tension in a prequel, when they're already married in the other book. Apparently the title changed for the paperback from The Wolves of Andover to The Traitor's Wife, but I much prefer the original title.

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phyhill
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Pickpick

Oof. That last story just about broke my heart.

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phyhill
Reparations Now! | Ashley M. Jones
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Pickpick

I read a lot of poetry in college, years ago, and this book made me want to get back to that, to Lucille Clifton and Nikki Giovanni.

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phyhill
Magic City Gospel | Ashley M. Jones
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I'm catching up on the work of Alabama's newest, youngest, and first non-white Poet Laureate.

3 likes1 stack add
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phyhill
In Country | Bobbie Ann Mason
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Pickpick

I loved this book. I got completely wrapped up in it and cried when it ended both because it was sad and because it was over. I'm curious, for anyone else who has read this, did you wonder if "Magnum, P.I." was something Sam watched? I don't think I've ever in my life thought about a TV show a fictional character would enjoy, but I think she would have for it's Vietnam references. Also, why is every cover of this book worse than the last?

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phyhill
WHEREAS: Poems | Layli Long Soldier
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Pickpick

This was an outstanding collection, specifically the Whereas statements.

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phyhill
The Argonauts | Maggie Nelson
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I was late to the party on this one, but I never liked parties anyway. 😉

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phyhill
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Pickpick

Some of my favorite lines:

From "Beside the Golden Door"
"Truth would say these are // arrogant times. Believers slaughter their doubters / while the greedy oil their lips with excuses / and the righteous turn merciless; the merciful, mad."

From "Ode on a Shopping List Found in Last Season's Shorts"
"who could have known there would be / no more road trips to buy for, no place to go but // home?"

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phyhill
People I Wanted to be | Gina Ochsner
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Most of my books have been in storage since May 2018 (when I sold my bookstore) & I just got them all moved into our house in June. I own so many books. I've read a lot of them, but there's a lot that I've owned so long without reading that I no longer remember when I got them or what attracted me to them. I'm hoping to slowly make my way through them. Sometimes I'm lucky & there's a bookmark inside, like a guide post urging me to remember.