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rachelk

rachelk

Joined January 2018

❤️ good books 📚 good coffee ☕️ good boy 🐶
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Dead-End Memories: Stories by Banana Yoshimoto
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Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
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rachelk
Last Night in Montreal | Emily St. John Mandel
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This was the 2009 debut novel of Emily St. John Mandel. It‘s a beautifully written book about love and loss with a compelling mystery at the center. Unfortunately, I found the plot a bit too implausible. I liked it enough to ‘pick‘ but not as much as some of her later work.

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rachelk
Sea of Tranquility: A Novel | Emily St. John Mandel
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January - Tom Lake by Ann Patchett
February - David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
March - Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

#topread2024 #fiction

Amandakay Love David copperfield! (edited) 3w
rachelk @Amandakay I loved it so much that I wonder if any other book will be able to beat it! 3w
29 likes2 comments
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rachelk
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Mehso-so

Nothing wrong with these lessons, but for me they feel more intuitive. I will say that there was something kind of old fashioned and comforting about the advice that I did enjoy. It reminded me of the classes my father took for his company in the 70‘s and 80‘s. Dad is highly effective, so maybe it worked. 🤷🏻‍♀️

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rachelk
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Pickpick

Part memoir and part illuminating tales from the technology world and its leaders, by award winning journalist Kara Swisher. I loved her insights, entrepreneurial spirit and ability to call out powerful people.

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rachelk
Sea of Tranquility: A Novel | Emily St. John Mandel
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This is the third excellent book I‘ve read by Emily St. John Mandel. If you‘ve ever enjoyed going down a rabbit hole regarding the nature of reality, this novel might be for you. I finished it in one sitting. ❤️

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rachelk
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Mehso-so

This was probably a more realistic spy novel than ‘The Spy Who Came in from the Cold‘ but I preferred the drama and romance of that novel over so much of the day to day training in this one.

33 likes1 stack add
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rachelk
Hammers and Homicide | Paula Charles
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I don‘t usually read ‘cozy‘ mysteries, but after the week I‘ve had, it was just right — a relatable woman in her early sixties as the main character, a quaint hometown, lots of creature comforts, a little murder mystery and possibly a friendly ghost. There was one story line that didn‘t get resolved but I hear this is the first in a new series, so perhaps it‘s a thread that will be continued.

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rachelk
Intimacies | Katie Kitamura
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I could not put this slim novel with gorgeous prose down — though I admit to wrongly thinking that more was tying together the character driven story than the interior life of the unnamed interpreter. In any case, I enjoyed it. If there‘s a theme I‘d say it‘s the complexity of communicating with and understanding others…the male/female dynamics are especially unsettling.

36 likes1 stack add
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rachelk
David Copperfield | Charles Dickens
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I undertook this doorstopper because it inspired ‘Demon Copperhead‘, which is on my reading list this year and because I enjoyed ‘Great Expectations‘ so much last year. Since the book is long (it was serialized) I liked the idea of going back and forth between written and audio formats. The saga is said to be close to the life and experiences of Charles Dickens himself. I think it was extraordinary in every way. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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rachelk
Bright Young Women | Jessica (Author) Knoll
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Knoll fictionalizes the case of a real serial killer, telling the story from the perspective of bright, young women. This book surpasses standard crime fiction in my opinion because in addition to being well written it also critiques misogyny in a relatable, impactful way. Knoll‘s writing is dynamic and fast paced.

53 likes2 stack adds
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rachelk
Tom Lake: A Novel | Ann Patchett
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The beauty of Patchett‘s prose combined with her ability to immerse you in another place and time are enough to recommend this novel but I‘m also at the point in my life where I truly appreciate a mature main character reflecting on her youth. I was going to read this book but could not resist listening to Meryl Streep give voice to it. Outstanding.

Reggie I had such fun telling people at work about Emily. The people I work with have children starting their crazy teen years so it resonated. 3mo
Reggie Loved this book. 3mo
rachelk @Reggie Oh that‘s great —definitely resonated for me! (edited) 3mo
52 likes1 stack add3 comments
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rachelk
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I enjoyed this ambitious, sweeping novel — Oxford in the 1830‘s, a good cast of diverse characters and informed writing regarding language, history and culture. I only regret having had big expectations for magic, fantasy and world building. Instead, enchanted silver bars were mostly a stand in for the Industrial Revolution, leaving our reality relatively unchanged. However, as a fan of dark academia and historical fiction I found it quite good.

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rachelk
Finding Me: A Memoir | Viola Davis
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Davis suffered childhood poverty, trauma and abuse followed by an extraordinary rise to stardom. Her outstanding memoir is extremely personal, inspirational and wise. I highly recommend the Grammy Award winning audiobook that she narrated — which made her an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) winner! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

36 likes1 stack add
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rachelk
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Pickpick

Great book to start the year with! You don‘t have to be a gamer or a fan of romance to enjoy the story of this tender but fraught relationship because it‘s really about friendship that survives lapses, creative partnership and a different kind of love.💗

SamAnne I just finished yesterday and have a total book hangover. So many feels. 4mo
rachelk @SamAnne Me too!! 4mo
46 likes1 stack add2 comments
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rachelk
Night | Elie Wiesel
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I tend to read more fiction than nonfiction, but I still find it too difficult not to separate the categories. #2023readingbracket #nonfiction

Amiable Totally! I read both genres equally, and I separate them into different brackets. It‘s too difficult to compare fiction to NF— the reading experience isn‘t the same and I‘m looking for different things from each genre. 4mo
Deblovestoread Same! 4mo
rachelk @Amiable @Deblovestoread It‘s honestly hard for me not to separate the nonfiction into subcategories! 😅 4mo
30 likes3 comments
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rachelk
The Color Purple | Alice Walker
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When a book leaves me hugging it like a long lost friend, I know it‘s a contender! This was my first reading of ‘The Color Purple‘. 💜 💜💜#readingbracket2023 #fiction

GinaKButler It‘s on my must-read list for 2024! 4mo
rachelk @GinaKButler That‘s great! I hope you love it as much as I did! 4mo
29 likes2 comments
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rachelk
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My first John le Carré book and it was excellent — beyond the smart plot twists of good spy fiction it read like great literature. This has probably been on my tbr longer than any other book. Thanks to my November #bookspin @TheAromaofBooks I finally read it!

dabbe It's excellent, isn't it? That ending! 😱 4mo
rachelk @dabbe Yes! Of all the endings I‘d imagined, that one took me aback. 4mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 4mo
36 likes1 stack add3 comments
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rachelk
BookSpinBingo | Untitled
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I haven‘t finished my December reads yet, but I am all ready for the January 2024 Bookspin! Here‘s to another great year of books! ⛄️

@TheAromaofBooks #bookspin #bookspinbingo

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 4mo
19 likes1 comment
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rachelk
The Woman in Me | Britney Spears
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I don‘t think this is a phenomenal autobiography but after everything she went through, fans surely must appreciate hearing her story (especially regarding the conservatorship) from her point of view. It seems like she was mistreated by everyone from her family to the media due to a combination of sexism, her emotional vulnerability and the money that could be made off of her.

The book ends with her doing well. I hope she still is.

Kerrbearlib It was great to hear her story from her point of view. 4mo
rachelk @Kerrbearlib There is so much interest in her story — I read that Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie and Reese Witherspoon all want the rights to adapt this book into a movie. 4mo
37 likes1 stack add2 comments
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rachelk
The Color Purple | Alice Walker
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I wanted to “reread” this prior to the new movie coming out but as soon as I started it I realized that I hadn‘t actually read it before. The entire book is epistolary. Imagine my surprise! I think most people already know that this is a masterpiece. I‘m so glad I finally read it! 💜❤️

I also just realized that there is a #purplereadalong going on hosted by @TheBookHippie ! I may chime in if that‘s ok!

TheBookHippie Absolutely join us #purplereadalong hashtag -we are discussing the last part this week and next week the entire book as well, for those who needed to catch up or just read the book. Feel free to chime in on any past and current discussions. 4mo
rachelk @TheBookHippie Thank you so much! 😊 4mo
40 likes1 stack add2 comments
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rachelk
Demon Copperhead: A Novel | Barbara Kingsolver
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Thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes! My sweet husband took me to a new independent bookstore today & this is what I came home with! I probably won‘t get around to reading it until the new year, but nice to know it‘s waiting. 📚 📖

Ruthiella Nice! Happy Birthday! 🥳🥳🥳 5mo
AmyG Happy Birthday 🎂 4mo
41 likes2 comments
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rachelk
BookSpinBingo | Untitled
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Do I want help choosing my final reads of the year? Yes, please! #bookspin @TheAromaofBooks #TBR

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 5mo
31 likes1 comment
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rachelk
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Mehso-so

I was intrigued by the premise of the book (husband disappears under mysterious, possibly criminal circumstances) and I wanted to know how it would turn out but ultimately the plot and the actions of MC Hannah didn‘t make sense to me.

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rachelk
After the Quake: Stories | Haruki Murakami
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Six short stories loosely connected by the aftermath of the 1995 Kobe earthquake. Murakami‘s writing has been described as mesmerizing and visionary, mysterious and familiar. I agree. There‘s a dream like, metaphysical quality to his stories. I loved them all.

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rachelk
BookSpinBingo | Untitled
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I‘ve read (almost) five of the books from my October #bookspin list, which is a record for me. If I can check one of these off in November I‘ll be happy! @TheAromaofBooks 🤞🏻

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 6mo
23 likes1 comment
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rachelk
Existentialism Is a Humanism | Jean-Paul Sartre
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This little book is the translation of a famous speech Sartre gave (Paris, 1946) to further expound on his philosophy. I think it‘s perfect for anyone wanting an explanation of existentialism. I do not agree with this philosophy primarily because I think it underestimates the importance of the situation a person is born into. Nevertheless, it was an interesting read.

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rachelk
Spells for Forgetting | Adrienne Young
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Mehso-so

This reads like YA fiction, though I don‘t think it technically is. I can see how readers might really enjoy the atmospheric romance with a little magic, drama and mystery. To me it felt a bit confused about what kind of book it wanted to be plus there was a lot of mouth twisting and references to ‘all of this‘ by multiple characters. Aspects, such as the setting, did appeal to me but overall not my thing. 🤷🏻‍♀️

emz711 I'm doing the audio right now 6mo
rachelk @emz711 I hope you like it! 6mo
32 likes2 comments
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rachelk
Haunted: A Novel | Chuck Palahniuk

Omg WTH am I reading? I don‘t know whether to laugh, cry or throw up! 😵😂🤢

Reggie If you can survive the first story it gets better. But they all have that crazy flavor to them. The next story, the one about the reflexology hit woman is my favorite. Lololol 6mo
Soubhiville Yeah this book 😱 6mo
rachelk @Reggie You‘re right, it did get easier to read…but still wild, which I did expect! 6mo
rachelk @Soubhiville I would not recommend it to just anyone 😝 6mo
24 likes4 comments
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rachelk
Wellness | Nathan Hill
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Hill writes poignantly about a relationship that spans decades of personal and cultural change, heartbreak and the quest for an improved future. I highly recommend.

37 likes2 stack adds
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rachelk
The Housemaid | Freida McFadden
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Mehso-so

Everyone seems to adore this book but I thought there were details that didn‘t add up and too many ‘how is that possible?‘ moments.

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rachelk
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Pickpick

This is the first Poirot murder mystery that Agatha Christie wrote and I enjoyed the introduction to his character. I‘ve been reading them out of order off and on for years, so like most people I know what to expect — a complex whodunnit with an upstairs/downstairs cast of characters (or should I say suspects?!) and all the answers revealed at the end.

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rachelk
Radical Acceptance | Tara Brach
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Brach encourages us to be accepting of ourselves with guided meditations drawing from psychology and Buddhism. I would recommend it to anyone dealing with psychological or physical pain that is open to advice like this, “…take a few moments, whenever you remember, to look into awareness, see what is true, then let go and let be.”🧘🏻‍♀️

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rachelk
The Earthquake Bird | Susanna Jones
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I enjoyed this strange, character driven crime/psychological suspense novel and admit I fell for a few red herrings. I didn‘t especially like the main character but I loved the way the story was written with the truth obscured and yet in front of you the whole time. The Tokyo setting was perfect.

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rachelk
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Le Guin won the Hugo Award for best short story for this in 1974. It reminds me a little of Shirley Jackson‘s “The Lottery” (1948) but I found this even more unsettling. It‘s the kind of well written but disturbing story that stays with you and causes you to see unfortunate parallels in reality. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This was my October #bookspin @TheAromaofBooks
The story was so short I‘ll definitely read more books from my list!

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 7mo
27 likes1 stack add1 comment
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rachelk
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I feel I should mention that ‘The Healed Empath‘ is the only #nonfiction book I finished in September. I did try a few others but set them aside for another time/mood. #2023readingbracket

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rachelk
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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I wish that Claire Keegan‘s short books ‘Small Things Like These‘ and ‘Foster‘ had been part of a collection simply so I wouldn‘t have had to choose between them! They were both wonderful. ❤️ #fiction #2023readingbracket

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rachelk
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If you‘re an empath (or highly sensitive person) and open to a bit of mysticism, this is an easy to read book and at the very least a good reminder to trust your intuition and be kinder to yourself.

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rachelk
BookSpinBingo | Untitled
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A spooky/mysterious reading list for those dark, windy October nights 🍂🎃✨ #bookspin #bookspinbingo @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 7mo
27 likes1 comment
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rachelk
Yellowface | R F Kuang
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This satirical thriller moves at a fast pace as Kuang explores themes of race, jealousy, social media, loneliness and greed as well as providing an unflattering look into the publishing world. There are no likable characters here — but I found it entertaining and thought provoking.

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rachelk
Foster | Claire Keegan
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After finishing the novella ‘Small Things Like These‘ this morning I was left wanting to read more Claire Keegan. I found this short (just over an hour) audiobook on the Libby app and listened this afternoon. The story is about a poor Irish girl taken in by kindly relatives. The writing is once again perfection. Keegan is my favorite ‘new to me‘ writer. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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rachelk
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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This historical fiction novella takes place on the coast of Ireland during the 1980‘s over an approaching Christmas holiday. Protagonist Bill Furlong has to be one of the finest ‘everyman‘ characters I‘ve read. The story is so moving and beautifully written that it already feels like a classic. As a side note — I did not know about Magdalene Laundries before reading this. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

SamAnne Keegan‘s books really stay with me. 7mo
rachelk @SamAnne This is the first one I‘ve read — I just recently heard about her. 7mo
37 likes2 comments
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rachelk
Moon Tiger | Penelope Lively
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Claudia, an elderly woman that was once a writer and somewhat prickly intellectual with an unconventional lifestyle, is now in hospital care. Her story (shifting between then and now) is told from her POV as well as other characters and third person omniscient. This surprisingly complex novel took a bit for me to get into it but the language, the feeling and the romance were worth it. @thearomaofbooks #septemberbookspin #tbr

TheAromaofBooks Great progress!! 7mo
rachelk @TheAromaofBooks Thanks! I have a few previous bookspins to get to but hopefully by the end of the year… 7mo
Teresereading I read this a long, long time ago, and keep meaning to go back to it. 7mo
rachelk @Teresereading I think it‘s the kind of book that will hit differently depending on where you are in life…it‘d be interesting to see what you think 7mo
35 likes4 comments
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rachelk
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Words of wisdom from two beautiful souls that are no longer with us — another hard choice. #2023readingbracket #nonfiction

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rachelk
Things Fall Apart | Chinua Achebe
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This was a difficult choice between completely different classics but despite all the good feelings I have about GE, TFA just blew me away. #2023readingbracket #fiction

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rachelk
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I thought I had figured it out but Agatha Christie got me again! I enjoyed this Poirot murder mystery, though not quite as much as ‘Murder on the Orient Express‘ or ‘The Murder of Roger Ackroyd‘.

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rachelk
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I remember studying, ‘Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center‘ in college and thinking I had a sense of bell hooks. She was a thought provoking writer, cultural critic, intellectual, feminist icon and activist…but maybe I didn‘t understand her as well as I thought I did because I was surprised by how spiritual and personal this is. Though I didn‘t agree with everything hooks said, I found it very inspirational.

44 likes2 stack adds
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rachelk
BookSpinBingo | Untitled
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TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 8mo
30 likes1 comment
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rachelk
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“To know love we have to tell the truth to ourselves and others.” — bell hooks

Truth. What I‘m reading on my 21st wedding anniversary.❤️❤️❤️

DivineDiana Happy Anniversary! Sounds like a great choice! 👏🏻❤️🎉 8mo
rachelk @DivineDiana Thank you!! So far this book is rating pretty highly for me. 8mo
35 likes2 comments
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rachelk
Things Fall Apart | Chinua Achebe
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This historical fiction novel is told from a third person omniscient view without judgement or moralizing. Part 1 gives us a sense of pre-colonial Nigerian village life and of imperfect warrior hero, Okonkwo. In part 2 the European missionaries arrive, upending the Ibo community. Achebe‘s writing is magical. I‘d compare this with a Shakespearean tragedy. So far it‘s my favorite novel this year. #AugustBookSpin @TheAromaofBooks

dabbe One of my faves, too! 🩵🖤💙 8mo
rachelk @dabbe I‘m just sorry it took me so long to read it! 8mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 8mo
44 likes1 stack add4 comments
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rachelk
Norse Mythology | Neil Gaiman
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If every author had a voice like Neil Gaiman there‘d be no work for audio performers. I could listen to him all day! Though the retelling of ancient myths (in this case Loki, Odin, Thor, etc) isn‘t usually my thing, I thought this was very well done — exciting, cohesive stories with Gaiman‘s sense of humor and of the darkly theatrical shining through. Overall, it was a lot more fun than I expected.