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plemmdog

plemmdog

Joined January 2018

Favorites include literary fiction, nonfiction, science, history, and medicine. Southerner. Bow tie wearer.
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Normal People by Sally Rooney
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Nouns & Verbs by Campbell McGrath
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plemmdog
Normal People | Sally Rooney
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“He‘s amused at himself, getting wrapped up in the drama of novels...It feels intellectually unserious to concern himself with fictional people marrying one another. But there it is: literature moves him.” This is the first-ever book I‘ve pilfered from my own Little Free Library: so glad I did.

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Nouns & Verbs | Campbell McGrath
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Too Much Happiness | Alice Munro
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Mehso-so

Of all the collections of Munro stories I‘ve read so far, I‘ve found this one the weakest, which is not to say it wasn‘t haunting.

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Shadows on the Rock | Willa Cather
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I always try to read a novel set in the places I travel to. This trip I delegated all trip planning to my partner, and we have ended up staying in a monastery in Quebec City where parts of this novel take place. I love it when fictional and real worlds collide.

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Testaments | Margaret Atwood
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Almost halfway in. The cover intrigues me—the paper they‘ve chosen is rather smeary and has a tendency to show all your fingerprints, under a light. I wonder if it was intentional.

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Robert Frank died. I‘d completely forgotten I‘d bought his book of photographs but had never looked through it, or read the beautiful foreword, which was written by Jack Kerouac. “To Robert Frank I now give this message: You got eyes”.

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Shadow of Sirius | W S Merwin
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Pickpick

Somehow I always want to call him W S Merlin because his words don‘t often seem from this world but belong to another time and place. This is a lovely collection. Here‘s a nice September poem.

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Why Did I Ever | Mary Robison
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What would Proust say?

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Why Did I Ever | Mary Robison
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Mary Robison is the bomb.

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Mourning the Death of Magic | Blanche M. Boyd
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Some beautiful writing in this novel, which unfortunately still needs a better plot.

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Pickpick

I think you are either a Hempel fan or you aren‘t. This is not the collection I would suggest for a neophyte (Reasons To Live or At The Gates of The Animal Kingdom are better places to start) but this one has some gems, too.

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Pickpick

This was a hoot to read. Considering a crowd of 400,000 people and widespread drug use, Dr. William Abruzzi concluded in his final report that at no time did the medical team see or treat “any incident which involved the causing of personal or physical injury from one human being to another.”

As much I as I sometimes get tired of Boomers mythologizing the Sixties, from a public health perspective, these statistics are enviable.

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Pickpick

Darwin. Thoreau. John Muir. These were just a few of the people he inspired, yet most people have never heard of Alexander von Humboldt (myself included). This was a fascinating biography and history lesson (I was shocked to read the word "scientist" didn't even come into the language until 1834). Fans of the Romantics and nature writing will enjoy this. Wulf has an eye for detail but the narrative moves at a quick pace.

Anna40 Ah in the US people might not know Humboldt, but in Germany people know Humboldt or at least have heard the name because of the university in Berlin that is named after him. 2mo
plemmdog Thanks @Anna40 there‘s even a small town in Tennessee named after him here but I would bet 99% of its residents have no clue who he was 2mo
Anna40 Haha! Even in Germany they probably don't really know who he was but have heard the name... 2mo
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I‘ve found the perfect reading spot for the day, thanks to my cousin. She‘s done quite well for herself. Loving this book so far.

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Pickpick

I spent 4 years in Charleston during the 90s, and I‘m still coming to terms with my Carolina privileged white boyhood. Hawes does an excellent job here of portaying the victims and families, as well as the two survivors. Not surprisingly, she has a newspaper reporter‘s eye for human detail and a good story— her beat was actually the religion desk, when the tragedy occurred. A compelling and unsettling read.

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We try to preserve life even when we know it has no chance of it enduring its body. We feed it, keep it comfortable, bathe it, medicate it, caress it, even sing to it. We tend to these basic functions not because we are brave or selfless but because, like breath, it is the most fundamental act of our species: to sustain the body until time leaves it behind.

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Pickpick

The writing in this novel nearly broke me, it‘s so beautiful, especially in light of its devastating subject matter. The author sang a song at the end of his reading.

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American Pop: A Novel | Snowden Wright
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“The South...was similar enough to the real world to make a child think, I know this place, yet also different enough for them to go to sleep at night knowing it was only make-believe...Not only a world from a children‘s book but also...his own childhood, the strangeness, darkness, and altogether fucked-up-ness that made him the incredibly well-adjusted person he was today.”

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American Pop: A Novel | Snowden Wright
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I picked this up a month ago—seems appropriate to pop it open for this holiday weekend...Happy Independence Day!

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Queer: A Graphic History | Meg-John Barker
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My #pride purchase for the month of June. All history textbooks should be graphic narratives!

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Pickpick

There are some nonfiction writers you pick up and within minutes, the passion they carry for their subject feels like lightning in a bottle. Less than five pages in, I found myself wondering how come I‘ve never heard of Robert Moor? Inspired by a thru-hike completed in his twenties on the Appalachian Trail, Moor finds himself wondering about the existence and evolution of trails (animal as well as human). LOVED THIS.

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13 Reasons Why | Jay Asher
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Panpan

Read this again for an essay I‘m contemplating to write. Disliked it more even the second time.

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Mehso-so

This was a book club pick, and I‘m glad I read it, but at times it felt like Belli was the Elizabeth Taylor of Nicaragua. Somewhat romanticized view of the Revolution but captivating, nevertheless, and a great perspective on the Reagan years.

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The Sportswriter | Richard Ford
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“I tend To think of human beings as huge, rubbery test tubes...with chemical reactions seething inside.”

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The Friend | Sigrid Nunez
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The Friend | Sigrid Nunez
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What do dogs think when they see someone cry? Bred to be comforters, they comfort us. But how puzzling human unhappiness must be to them. We who can fill our dishes anytime and with as much food as we like, who can go outside whenever we wish, and run free—we who have no master constantly needing to be pleased, or obeyed—WTF?

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Hanging in the hometown of McCarthy this weekend for the Big Ears Music Festival.

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Mehso-so

The first third of this was great. Terrific writing, but the first-person narration eventually felt emotionally ingenuine. I wish the author had stuck to one time period.

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Someone suggested this, and now my college alumni has picked it. Impulse buy. Completely enjoying it so far...

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Edward Abbey, writer and environmentalist, was born on this day in 1927.

"We need wilderness whether or not we ever set foot in it. We need a refuge even though we may never need to go there. We need the possibility of escape as surely as we need hope.

--Desert Solitaire, 1968

RaimeyGallant Lovely. 9mo
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My first Wiley Cash. I‘m a sucker for snake-handling Pentecostal villains, what can I say.

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Dharma Bums | Jack Kerouac
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I love old Sixties paperbacks

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I found some old photos of my dad (who died in 1971) and recognize now I know little to nothing about the Korean Conflict, so I‘m reading outside my usual genres for 2018 and tackling Halberstam‘s 600+ page opus. Terrific so far.

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Rich in Love | Josephine Humphreys
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“On an afternoon two years ago my life veered from its day-in day-out course and became for a short while the kind of life that can be told as a story—that is, one in which events appear to have meaning. Before, there had been nothing worth telling the world.”

Just reread this for the third time. Lucille Odom belongs in the pantheon with McCullers‘ Frankie and Harper Lee‘s Scout. The voice is that good. So glad this exists in the world.

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The Following Story | Cees Nooteboom
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“clocks served two purposes...The first was to tell people the time, and the second to impress upon me that time is an enigma, an intractable measureless phenomenon into which, out of sheer helplessness, we have introduced a semblance of order.”

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Restocking my #littlefreelibrsry for the holidays at #mckaysusedbooks. Season‘s Greetings, everyone!

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A Cruel Wind: Pandemic Flu in America, 1918-1920 | Dorothy Ann Pettit, Janice Bailie
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Geeking out on a used bookstore find. The Halloween-y cover makes me laugh

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Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close | Jonathan Safran Foer
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Pickpick

someone picked this for my book club this month. I never read this when it came out originally. In some ways it‘s what I imagine a novel by Wes Anderson would be like, if he wrote. Did anyone else see shades of Catcher in The Rye?

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So far, an interesting viewpoint, and strong rebuttal to Hillbilly Elegy

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“The food jndustrialists have...persuaded millions of consumers to prefer food that is already prepared. They will grow, deliver, and cook your food for you and (just like your mother) beg you to eat it. That they do not yet offer to insert it, prechewed, into your mouth is only because they have not yet found a profitable way to do so.”

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There There: A novel | Tommy Orange
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Hate to be a Debbie Downer, and not a particularly light read for this holiday week, but...

ManyWordsLater Penguin classics just reissued this book. They are reprinting a bunch of really cool old American novels these days. 11mo
plemmdog @ManyWordsLater thanks for letting me know! Sounds intriguing 11mo
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Kyrie: Poems | Ellen Bryant Voigt
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With all the recent attention paid to the centennial of World War I, the great influenza pandemic of 1918 shouldn‘t be forgotten. It was the inspiration for the sobering sonnets in this collection by Ellen Bryant Voight.

...”Time/ isn‘t a straight line, it‘s a scummy pond/our minds fish in”

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There There: A novel | Tommy Orange
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Terrific so far.

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“...what the commercial coup of Fifty Shades [Of Grey] reveals about us is this: we‘re an infirm, ineffectual tribe still stuck in some sort of larval stage. Do I really expect Americans to sit down with Adam Bede...after all the professional and domestic hurly-burly of their day? ... Pardon me, but yes, I do.”

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