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rachelk

rachelk

Joined January 2018

My reading buddy is a pooch. 🐶 I‘m ready to go when there‘s a coffee in my hand and a book in my bag. ☕️📕👜
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HIDDEN VALLEY ROAD. by ROBERT. KOLKER
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rachelk
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I couldn‘t put down this compelling and surprisingly hopeful story. It had originally been written as a screenplay about the experiences of Lale Sokolov at The Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp. I think some criticism of this book has to do with the fact that it still feels a bit like a screenplay — somewhat rushed as a novel, breaking the rule of ‘show don‘t tell‘. Still, it‘s an extraordinary, moving story well worth reading.

pr.alm One of my favorite books! The worst and the best of humanity in one book! 6d
rachelk @pr.alm So true. I‘ve heard that the follow up book is excellent 6d
46 likes2 comments
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rachelk
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Pickpick

This character driven family saga takes us through multiple locations on land and sea with excellent prose, thought provoking storylines and a stoic look at poverty in America…with just a bit of mysticism.

42 likes1 stack add
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rachelk
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This much anticipated second volume of diary entries did not disappoint. I love the humor of David Sedaris and his latest book was the perfect way to end the year, as I knew it would be. 🙂

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rachelk
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich | ????????? ??????? ??????????
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Pickpick

Although this is a fictionalized account of a day in the life of an unjustly imprisoned man in a Soviet forced- labor camp, the author drew from his personal experience in the Gulag. It‘s astonishing that this novel was published and at one point in the 1970‘s it was banned. The book is short but dense and a somewhat difficult (though worthwhile) read, especially given the historical significance.

Suet624 I always wanted to meet him. He lived in Vermont for quite some time. 4w
rachelk @Suet624 I didn‘t know that! I would have wanted to meet him too. What a fascinating person. (edited) 4w
See All 6 Comments
rachelk @Suet624 Wow, thank you for posting. I love how everyone was so protective of him and his family. 4w
AshleyHoss820 This slim book has managed to stay with me long after I read it! Excellent book! 😊 4w
rachelk @AshleyHoss820 Yes. I keep thinking about how brave Solzhenitsyn must have been to write it. 4w
38 likes6 comments
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rachelk
Anna Karenina | Leo Tolstoy
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I avoided this book because I thought it would be difficult. It‘s not. Tolstoy is brilliant but straightforward with his transcendent story of love, betrayal, family and social class. I wish I‘d read it sooner. ♥️

JamieArc I had the same experience. It was much more readable than I expected and really enjoyed it. 1mo
rachelk @JamieArc Yes! I found Tolstoy so accessible I‘m thinking of tackling War and Peace next year. 🤓 (edited) 1mo
DivineDiana Agree! I thank Oprah for encouraging her Book Club to challenge themselves! 1mo
rachelk @DivineDiana I read that Oprah said, “Don‘t be scared” and she was absolutely right. 1mo
DivineDiana How I love that Oprah shares and promotes the love of books! ❤️👏🏻📚 1mo
52 likes2 stack adds5 comments
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rachelk
Unknown Book 7535597 | Unknown Unknown
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rachelk
Olive Kitteridge | Elizabeth Strout
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This book consists of narratives inside the lives of people from the small (fictional) town of Crosby, Maine. There are recurring characters, of which Olive emerges as a compelling central figure. Olive suffers from depression and the overall feeling of the book is melancholic but hopeful. Strout depicts private thoughts and feelings related to love and loss so insightfully that she brings to life characters that are as real as fiction gets.

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rachelk
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Grohl comes across as a good guy, perpetually star struck and practically unaware that he‘s a celebrity himself. His memoir is filled with famous names, though he doesn‘t dish on them. He doesn‘t ‘go there‘ with his love life either. What he does is simply tell entertaining stories. It‘s nice to hear his voice — and he even hid one last story in the credits for us, like an encore.👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

47 likes1 stack add
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rachelk
No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency | Alexander McCall Smith
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This book was recommended to me by my mom and I‘m so glad I didn‘t miss out on it. It‘s an entertaining, first in a series novel about a very charming and extremely clever African woman that starts a detective agency in Botswana. Fans of Agatha Christie, Nancy Drew and comfort reads should check it out if they haven‘t already — I‘m a little late to the party 😅

Ruthiella I love Mma Ramotswe! ❤️ 3mo
rachelk @Ruthiella I do too! 3mo
50 likes1 stack add2 comments
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rachelk
The House on Mango Street | Sandra Cisneros
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This highly acclaimed book is written in the form of vignettes from the perspective of a Mexican American girl in a Hispanic neighborhood, which I believe was loosely based on the real life of Cisneros. I can see why it has been studied over the years by people of all ages. Since it can be read in one sitting, there‘s really no reason not to.

48 likes2 stack adds
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rachelk
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From the man who famously named Generation X: short, binge worthy and often cringe worthy (in the best way) stories, loosely connected with multiple cameos, lots of pop culture references and dark humor. This may be my favorite book by Coupland. And yes, that‘s a pre-Friends Courteney Cox dancing on the cover.

32 likes1 stack add
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rachelk
The Witch Elm | Tana French
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What Toby thinks of as his charm and luck is simply privilege. Other people have problems he can‘t imagine. He‘s not the most lovable character, but I‘m ok with that. This reminded me of something from the literary brat pack of the 1980‘s — drinking, smoking, casual drug using 20 somethings with means and secrets. My main issue was that it was too verbose, but I really did like it.

Cathythoughts Great review! Tana does go on a bit 😁.. but I really liked it too 3mo
rachelk @Cathythoughts Thank you! 😂 This is the only Tana French book I‘ve read. 3mo
45 likes2 comments
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rachelk
Second Place: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Inspired by the memoir “Lorenzo in Taos”, a middle aged woman (M) invites a famous painter to stay in her second home on the coastal marsh, where she lives with her husband. The acerbic artist becomes a catalyst for psychodrama and introspection as M ruminates on life, love, art, motherhood, criticism, independence and the nature of identity. It can be a bit pretentious but the prose are often gorgeous and thought provoking.

45 likes1 stack add1 comment
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rachelk
Lolita | Vladimir Nabokov
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Some publishers and reviewers described this novel as a ‘love‘ story. No. The villain protagonist objectifies and sexualizes girls that he deems ‘nymphets‘. He plans to drug and rape ‘Lolita‘ on their first night alone. He is a monster and she is a victim. And yet, Nabokov masterfully takes in readers with dark humor, satire, brilliant word play and elegant, self-aware prose. From a literary standpoint it‘s an achievement.

Ruthiella Totally agree! I hate, hate, hate most of the covers for this title too which usually have an objectified image of a girl on them. Delores is not Lolita. Lolita is a pretense that H.H. uses to excuse his repeated sexual abuse of a child. 4mo
rachelk @Ruthiella You are absolutely right. 4mo
48 likes2 stack adds2 comments
quote
rachelk


“For people of my age," she thinks, "the places that they truly loved and to which they once belonged are no longer there. The places of their childhood and youth have ceased to exist ... And if their outer form has been preserved, it's all the more painful, like a shell with nothing inside it anymore. I have nowhere to return to. It's like a state of imprisonment. The walls of the cell are the horizon of what I can see."

28 likes1 stack add
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rachelk
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Pickpick

I think if you‘re expecting a mystery you may be a bit disappointed. This book is more the character study of an older woman (Janina) living in the Polish wilderness, at odds with the hunters around her. The philosophy of Blake and the natural world is woven in with Janina‘s horror at the killing of animals.

45 likes1 stack add
blurb
rachelk
Untitled | Unknown
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1. Hawaii, Mexico & The Caribbean 🏖
(I must be in the mood for a beachy read)
2. Meditation 🧘‍♀️
(obviously reading and book store browsing too)
3. The World According to Fannie Davis 📖
(I generally love memoirs)
4. Having a home with books 🏡
(and that I‘m not an empty nester quite yet)

@Eggs #WondrousWednesday

Eggs Thanks for playing 👌🏼👏🏻 5mo
33 likes1 comment
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rachelk
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I thought this was a well written, well plotted courtroom drama/suspense/mystery. I was really impressed that it‘s a debut novel. I would definitely read the author again. However, it is quite depressing.

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rachelk
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Winston and I will try not to take offense. 😂 We‘re finding this book very endearing, but it‘s a lot of teenage boy (Townshend‘s writing is convincing) and we think it‘s probably best, for us, read in smallish doses between other books.

Update: He‘s really grown on me & I‘d like to read the rest of the series!

wanderinglynn Winston is adorable! That face! ❤️🐶 5mo
rachelk @wanderinglynn Thank you! I think he‘s pretty cute too. 😊 5mo
40 likes2 comments
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rachelk
Convenience Store Woman | Sayaka Murata
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“When something was strange, everyone thought they had the right to come stomping in all over your life to figure out why. I found that arrogant and infuriating, not to mention a pain in the neck.”

“People who are considered normal enjoy putting those who aren't on trial, you know.”
•••
I was looking for something short and fun but found much more in this gem of a novel with a neuro-divergent protagonist.💗

41 likes2 stack adds
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rachelk
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It‘s easy to see why Davis takes so much pride in what her mother was able to accomplish. I found the history of numbers running (which I knew nothing about) interesting, especially given the backdrop of Detroit in the 1970‘s. Even though this is a personal and unique story, it also provides an expanded view of American history.

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rachelk
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I loved ‘The Buddha in the Attic‘ so when I was told how incredible Otsuka‘s debut novel was, I had to read it too. This is also a slim book chronicling the experience of Japanese Americans in the 1940‘s, but this one focuses on a family. I love Otsuka‘s writing, she breaks my heart in a thousand tiny ways and makes me feel as though I‘m living inside the story. This will stay with me. ❤️

43 likes1 stack add
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rachelk
14 Ways to Die | Vincent Ralph
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This novel is a fast paced crime/murder mystery with a social media twist. It‘s easy to read with super short (like three page) chapters. Apparently it was also published under the title, “Are You Watching?” which I actually think makes more sense. I had intended to read this intermittently but instead stayed up all night, doing that ‘just one more page‘ thing. I think it‘s a good YA summer whodunnit kind of read.

rachelk @Littlewolf1 I read it faster than I thought I would! 😂 6mo
39 likes4 stack adds1 comment
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rachelk
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Even though this is a memoir about the struggles faced by one mom, it‘s hard to read and not think about injustices faced by all working poor. This story makes a good argument for a more robust social safety net. It also serves as reminder to treat all people with kindness and respect. Sometimes the book felt a bit disjointed but Land did a good job of conveying the anxiety, frustration and exhaustion she felt while striving for a better life.

43 likes1 stack add
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rachelk
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close | Jonathan Safran Foer
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The backdrop for the story is 9/11 but it‘s really about a precocious boy embarking on an adventure through NYC while dealing with the aftermath of tragedy. It was at turns funny, sad and beautiful.

37 likes1 stack add
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rachelk
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This is the story of two Nigerian sisters. The eldest (our protagonist) is an average looking no-nonsense nurse that‘s seriously good at cleaning up messes. The other is a gorgeous, flirty serial killer. Themes including beauty, socioeconomic status and sibling bonds are explored satirically with dark humor. The chapters are short, and well written. I really enjoyed this debut from Braithwaite. Also, how great is this cover!? 💚

47 likes1 stack add
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rachelk
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd | Agatha Christie
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I‘m not sure if this is my favorite Hercule Poirot mystery, but it is very good and rightfully makes it on to many ‘must read in your lifetime‘ lists. Agatha Christie is the master of mystery done right — the clues are all there but it‘s quite a strain on the ‘little grey cells‘ to figure out. I also love the humor Poirot adds, although apparently Christie herself did not care for him. 😆

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rachelk
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This collection included a few stories I‘ve read elsewhere, but that‘s ok. Every short story Carver ever wrote is worth reading at least twice. His minimalistic style and working class subjects (of a previous generation) combined with first person narratives, pull you into one compelling, realistic story after another. Absolutely brilliant. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

SamAnne I‘ve been meaning to revisit Carver. It‘s been awhile since I‘ve read him. 7mo
rachelk @SamAnne It had been awhile for me too. I definitely recommend. 7mo
38 likes2 comments
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rachelk
Mexican Gothic | Silvia Moreno-Garcia
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Mehso-so

This novel didn‘t quite meet my expectations but if you‘re a sci-fi/horror fan this might just be the book for you.

60 likes1 stack add
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rachelk
Powell's Books | Portland, Oregon (Bookstore)
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Sometimes people ask why I keep buying books when I already have so many. There is a long answer, but honestly you either get it or you don‘t. #yougetme #bookhaul

Chrissyreadit I totally get you! 7mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I get it 🙋🏻‍♀️ 7mo
Alfoster We all get it if we‘re on here!😝! 7mo
See All 11 Comments
SW-T LOL! Totally get it! 😂 7mo
Kdgordon88 💜💜💜 7mo
BarbaraBB Stupid question 😉 7mo
mandarchy If I lived near Powells, I'd be broke! 7mo
erzascarletbookgasm I don‘t bother to answer but we all get you! 7mo
Suet624 Amen, sister. 7mo
rachelk @Suet624 🙌 7mo
54 likes11 comments
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rachelk
Untitled | Unknown
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Remember to look for magic. 💫 Thanks for the tag! @OriginalCyn620 🤗 Post a positive quote & tag some others if you want to play!

@Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @sprainedbrain @BooksChocolatesCoffees @Andrew65 @Megabooks @TrishB

#positivequote #thinkpositivebepositive

ozma.of.oz Great quote! 7mo
OriginalCyn620 So true! 7mo
Andrew65 Thanks for the tag 😊👍 What happens to us as we get older? 7mo
See All 9 Comments
rachelk @ozma.of.oz thanks! 7mo
rachelk @OriginalCyn620 isn‘t it?! 7mo
rachelk @Andrew65 I don‘t know. Maybe we get too busy or maybe we just forget…or maybe we should learn from children as much as they learn from us? 7mo
sprainedbrain ❤️❤️❤️ 7mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks So true 💛💛💛 7mo
Andrew65 @rachelk A bit of all of these I think. 7mo
37 likes9 comments
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rachelk
Before the Fall | Noah Hawley
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The reader knows the private jet goes down from the start but what we don‘t know is why. Everyone on the plane has something in their background that may provide a clue — or not. Wanting answers kept me up late. I‘d liken the experience of reading it to binge watching a mystery/suspense tv series…occasionally a bit cheesy but entertaining.

This was my @TheAromaofBooks #bookspin for June.

LeslieO I loved this one. 7mo
TheAromaofBooks I love it when you know what the the Big Event is but don't know how or why!! 7mo
rachelk @LeslieO @TheAromaofBooks Yes! I thought backstories of all the characters were interesting. 7mo
51 likes1 stack add3 comments
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rachelk
Diary | Chuck Palahniuk
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Former art student and day-drinking hotel worker Misty Wilmot is caught in a surreal trap. This horror story/mystery/dark comedy told in diary format by a (for most of the book) unknown narrator is both a fun read and a philosophical thinker.

40 likes2 stack adds
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rachelk
The Glass Hotel | Emily St. John Mandel
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I loved this novel! Even though this is very different from ‘Station Eleven‘, there is common ground. Both move back and forth in time between a variety of characters, both have a disaster at the center and both ask: who are you when everything is taken away? In this timeline, the ruinous effects of financial crime branch out as several mysteries are brought to light. Themes of responsibility, complacency, loss and guilt are explored.

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rachelk
Unknown Book 7535597 | Unknown Unknown
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What will I read from my TBR this June? Only #bookspin knows! @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 8mo
rachelk @TheAromaofBooks I‘m so excited to dig into 8mo
TheAromaofBooks Yay!!! Good luck!! 8mo
27 likes3 comments
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rachelk
The Glass Hotel | Emily St. John Mandel
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A good day, a good book & a good boy! ☀️📖 🐶

41 likes1 stack add
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rachelk
Hausfrau: A Novel | Jill Alexander Essbaum
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I enjoyed this novel overall, even though I found the protagonist frustrating and not very likable. Anna is truly depressed but throwing herself into extramarital affairs doesn‘t help. You can tell it will lead to no good, but what actually happens is pretty shocking.

33 likes1 stack add
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rachelk
Jamaica Inn | Daphne Du Maurier
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This was on my TBR for years! It‘s a gloomy, gothic tale of smuggling (and worse) off the coast of Cornwall in 1820. Written by Du Maurier several years before ‘Rebecca‘, I thought the suspense here was just as compelling but this one was more horror story than love story.

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rachelk
The Count of Monte Cristo | Alexander Dumas
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‘The Count of Monte Cristo‘ was mentioned in the last two books I read. I now realize how frequently it‘s referenced in pop culture and how much influence it still has. I wish I‘d read it sooner. As you probably know, it‘s an adventure saga of revenge featuring the original most interesting man alive. Written as a serial in 1844, today it would be a multi-book series. In other words, it‘s long. Take it in parts if need be, it‘s worth it!

52 likes5 stack adds
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rachelk
The Dutch House | Ann Patchett
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I was completely mesmerized by this family drama told by semi-oblivious protagonist and only son, Danny. The magnificent house is a character in its own right. As always, Patchett‘s writing is fantastic.

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rachelk
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Written in 2011, many fans have already read this but if not, definitely should! Kaling is a witty, self-deprecating essayist and writer of the most hilarious episode of ‘The Office‘ involving a George Foreman mini-grill mishap. Also interesting is that Kaling wanted an all female remake of ‘Ghost Busters‘, even though she predicted there would be a male outcry against it. Maybe her prior work with a television psychic rubbed off?

47 likes3 stack adds
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rachelk
Joyful | Ingrid Fetell Lee
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Bailedbailed

To recap, this (home decorating/travel?) book goes something like: ‘Bright colors are better than beige, circles are better than rectangles, I‘m going to Paris.‘ This would have made a really nice picture-filled coffee table book since it‘s so visually descriptive, but otherwise, the TED Talk was enough for me. Meanwhile, my dearest friend adores this book and refers to it often, so there you go! 🤷🏻‍♀️

jdiehr Ha, ha! I love that you bailed on a book called "Joyful" ? 9mo
rachelk @jdiehr That‘s a mood, isn‘t it?! 😂 9mo
SamAnne 😄😄😄 9mo
TrishB Made me laugh 😂 9mo
40 likes1 stack add4 comments
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rachelk
Later | Stephen King
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Mehso-so

I enjoyed the coming of age aspect of this story and the very likable protagonist, Jamie. However, this crime thriller didn‘t soar to the heights King is capable of. IMO this one is best left for his super fans.

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rachelk
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Mehso-so

The story pulls you in with an interesting premise and outstanding descriptions of nature in narrative passages. Unfortunately, I found the second half of the book too implausible. Smart women in my book club loved this story, so maybe it‘s a me thing.

48 likes1 stack add
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rachelk
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So you want to talk about race ‘without placing undo burden on people of color to educate you‘? Yes! This book is a great starting point for (most likely, but not necessarily) non-POC. I appreciate that Oluo wrote this in a very conversational, accessible way. At the end of the book there are good ideas for actions you can take when you want to do more than talk.

45 likes2 stack adds
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rachelk
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I loved the idea of the multiverse and alternate lives combined with a likable protagonist and an ultimately positive message about life. Even though I did feel the novel was logically flawed, it was enjoyable nonetheless.

Come-read-with-me Good review! Thanks 11mo
rachelk @Come-read-with-me Thank you!😊 11mo
65 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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rachelk
The Blue Room | Georges Simenon
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Georges Simenon is one of Belgium‘s most famous writers (known for his Inspector Maigret novels) but he also wrote what he called ‘roman durs‘ or portraits of deviance. In this short roman dur/psychological thriller, adultery leads to crime and terrible consequences. Simenon‘s writing is both nuanced and descriptive as the story becomes increasingly intense.

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rachelk
The Language of Baklava | Diana Abu-Jaber
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A foodie memoir that reads like a novel about growing up between cultures with lots of extended family plus Middle Eastern recipes. I especially love the way Abu-Jaber depicts childhood and how naturally recipes become part of the story. I‘m excited to try making some!

43 likes1 stack add
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rachelk
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‘The East Area Rapist‘ later dubbed ‘The Golden State Killer‘ (by McNamara) is the subject of her well written, relentlessly investigative true crime book. Sadly, she did not live long enough to complete the book or to see the killer apprehended. However, her notes were posthumously pieced together to complete her work. It was done very well.

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I can‘t wait to read this one!! 11mo
sarahlandis Looooved this but it actually really terrified me 11mo
rachelk @sarahlandis Yes, she did a great job but one true crime book a year is probably enough for me 😬 11mo
rachelk @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks It was definitely engrossing! 11mo
48 likes4 comments
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rachelk
Wow, No Thank You | Samantha Irby
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More self-deprecating, witty, gross and hilarious memoir essays from Samantha Irby that made me lol and feel less alone with my midlife anxiety and occasional curmudgeonliness. Bonus if you enjoy 90‘s pop culture references!