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razmanda

razmanda

Joined May 2016

I'm not a player, I just read a lot.
review
razmanda
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Pickpick

I‘m tired and immensely sad and scared, kinda all the time, really, but especially today... but this graphic memoir at least makes me feel not so alone. So many panels could be lifted from my life, as can her fears and hopes for her child in this uncertain world.

blurb
razmanda
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Oof. That one landed.

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razmanda
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Pickpick

I‘m not a big monster movie person but the hidden history of the women who designed the iconic Creature from the Black Lagoon caught my eye. Milicent Patrick was a prolific artist and talent who, because she was a woman in the 1950‘s, had many of her achievements taken from her. I‘m immensely grateful to Mallory O‘Meara for her impeccable research and dedication to this story, one that helped her on her own path to monster movie glory.

Bookzombie I‘m currently listening to this one on disc when I‘m in my car. 4d
16 likes1 comment
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razmanda
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Pickpick

‪What a great read. I loved following all the patients‘ journeys, especially Gottlieb‘s. Therapy has saved my life, literally, and this is such a compassionate view of the process through both sides of the relationship. But please hydrate before reading.‬

Reggie Omg, yes, the tears!!!! 6d
17 likes1 comment
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razmanda
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Pickpick

‪What a great read. I loved following all the patients‘ journeys, especially Gottlieb‘s. Therapy has saved my life, literally, and this is such a compassionate view of the process through both sides of the relationship. But please hydrate before reading.‬

blurb
razmanda
Clifford the Big Red Dog | Norman Bridwell
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I went to an independent bookstore today without an adult. Regrets? Only when the credit card bill arrives.

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razmanda
Summer of '69 | Elin Hilderbrand
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Pickpick

Finished up this beachy read, now onto monsters!

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razmanda
The Pisces: A Novel | Melissa Broder
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Pickpick

What do you get when you mix magical realism with erotica, dark humor and suicidal ideation? This wonderfully bizarre and divisive book. Sure, it‘s about love and grief but also merman sex. So. Yeah.

blurb
razmanda
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Backyard bliss.

KristenDuck Love the hammock! 3w
25 likes1 comment
review
razmanda
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Pickpick

This took me a while to get through, not because it‘s not well-written (it is), or compelling (it is) or important (definitely is), but because the essays, almost all of them, challenged me in some way, challenged my beliefs or assumptions or subconscious. So I read one every few days, let that one settle, and read the next. Mehra‘s family is utterly unique but still so deeply relatable, and her words are grounded in love. Really great read.

Tamra Sounds great! 3w
22 likes2 stack adds1 comment
review
razmanda
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Pickpick

Tiber and I very much enjoyed this multigenerational novel centered around the seven (or eight) deaths of Stella Fortuna. I think I cried for the first time maybe 30 pages in? So stay hydrated, friends, if you pick this one up.

blurb
razmanda
After the Flood | Kassandra Montag
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I won a giveaway thanks to you lovely people and @WilliamMorrowBooks That‘s never happened to me before!

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razmanda
Hot Comb | Ebony Flowers
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Pickpick

This falls somewhere between a pick and so-so. Most of the comics are good, with a few standouts, but the collection doesn‘t quite come together. #24in48readathon

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razmanda
More Than Enough | Elaine Welteroth
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Pickpick

Holy shit, go read this book. Welteroth is a formidable talent and her memoir is raw and honest, equal parts confession and advice. Totally inspiring and bad-ass. Ending the first day of the #24in48readathon at 6 hours and 20 minutes, not too shabby!

15 likes1 stack add
blurb
razmanda
More Than Enough | Elaine Welteroth
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Refueling with water, blueberries and an uplifting AF memoir. #24in48readathon

20 likes1 stack add
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razmanda
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Pickpick

Just shy of an hour into the #24in48readathon and done with The Nickel Boys. It feels very much like a sequel to The Underground Railroad in its honest and unflinching violence, the ways it explores the themes of racial injustice and how deeply the narrative sinks into you. It‘s incredibly hard to read while being starkly beautiful.

Heading to my stack to find something a little lighter for the rest of the morning.

daniwithtea My hold just came in on this at the library! 1mo
15 likes2 stack adds1 comment
blurb
razmanda
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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All stacked and ready for #24in48readathon shenanigans.

Megabooks Nice choices!! 1mo
17 likes1 comment
blurb
razmanda
Nickel Boys | Colson Whitehead
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Killing time before book club. Great opening sentence.

Ashley_Nicoletto I‘m trying to save this for #24in48 this weekend and it‘s just sitting on my kindle killing me. 🤣 1mo
mrozzz Can‘t wait for this one!! 1mo
29 likes3 stack adds2 comments
review
razmanda
Lot: Stories | Bryan Washington
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Pickpick

I‘m a little mixed on this one but still think it‘s worth a read. I am not the target audience for this collection of stories, and sometimes, that makes it more important for me to read something. To me, the storytelling didn‘t provide the depth of character I prefer but it did offer and specific view into a time and place that I otherwise wouldn‘t have experienced. It‘s graphic and disturbing but oddly, in the last page, hopeful.

KatieDid927 I completely agree. 1mo
15 likes1 comment
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razmanda
The Lost Coast | Amy Rose Capetta
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Pickpick

I love how inclusive young adult lit is, and this is a perfect example. Five queer witches, all with their own gender identities and sexuality, all respectful and supportive of one another while also trying to solve a magical mystery. Really lovely.

CareBear Hey Amanda! Just wanted to check in and see if you had a chance to mail the three owl post books you have. 💕 1mo
20 likes1 comment
blurb
razmanda
The Age of Miracles: A Novel | Karen Thompson Walker
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This was a very quick and surface-level read, which in and of itself is not a bad thing, but I was disappointed at the lack of depth and exploration as the world literally slows it‘s spinning, stretching days into weeks. The narrator is eleven at the beginning of the disaster and outlines the dystopia in immediate terms but doesn‘t zoom out or spend a ton of time developing any of the other characters. It‘s an interesting thought experiment.

18 likes1 stack add
review
razmanda
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Pickpick

I don‘t have words adequate to describe this incredible, challenging, gut-wrenching, gorgeous, haunting novel. Written as a letter to the narrator‘s mother, Vuong tells a winding story about a young boy growing up as an immigrant in America, as a young adult navigating his queer identity, and as a man dealing with his past, the importance of stories, and mental illness. It‘s astonishing.

ephemeralwaltz I've been dying to read this 😵😵 1mo
29 likes3 stack adds1 comment
review
razmanda
Rogue Protocol | Martha Wells
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Pickpick

Murderbot is such a great escape. Not my favorite of the series but still fun. This is how I picture them, as non-binary actor Asia Kate Dillon. Such a badass.

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razmanda
A Kind of Freedom: A Novel | Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
Pickpick

A heartbreaking and well-written exploration of three generations of a New Orleans family, hemmed in by Jim Crow laws and their own fallibility. It also addresses colorism within the Black community, community policing, addiction, and so much more. It packs a ton of story and character development in a little more than 200 pages. I look forward to reading more from this author!

blurb
razmanda
A Kind of Freedom: A Novel | Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
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This jerk.

blurb
razmanda
A Kind of Freedom: A Novel | Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
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Next up! Spending a little time in the children‘s section of our library, as close to sharks as we plan on getting.

review
razmanda
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Pickpick

Two obviously meant-to-be characters who work their way through different kinds of grief while also giving one another smoldering looks?! Yes, please! Great vacation read, summer beach read, etc, etc. but also grounded in tough subjects like emotional abuse. I love Linda Holmes and Pop Culture Happy Hour, so pretty relieved that her book lived up to the hype.

marleed I read this yesterday and loved it. It will stay in my head for a long time. 2mo
20 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
razmanda
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Pickpick

Really engaging, really well-written story about three generations of trauma, grief and wanting. The focus is primarily on three sisters, raised by an absent and abusive father, and how each of them has internalized their childhood as adults now responsible collectively for the eldest sister‘s teenage daughters after she is imprisoned. TW for eating disorders and physical abuse.

marleed That‘s Avery good recap! 2mo
22 likes1 comment
review
razmanda
Idaho | Emily Ruskovich
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Pickpick

Starkly written, haunting and beautiful, painful and frustrating - all of these words describe Idaho. Told from multiple points of view, the novel addresses and avoids a central act of horrific violence. And much like life, there is no tidy resolution or explanation. And really, I can‘t think of a single reason that would have made it understandable or more palatable. Definitely need a fluffy palate cleanser for my next read.

review
razmanda
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Pickpick

WOW. What an impeccably researched and fascinating deep dive into the long con that is Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes. I didn‘t know much of the story past headlines, so a lot of this was new to me, and certainly the volume of misdeeds is astonishing. And still being revealed. Just today, Holmes received a trial date and could face up to 20 years in prison for her actions.

Leftcoastzen I read the book and watched the HBO documentary, a noble idea,who wouldn‘t want a better , cheaper system to monitor ones health,insane how out there this story is. 2mo
30 likes1 comment
review
razmanda
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Pickpick

Interesting collection of comics that range from discussions on race, xenophobia, maternity leave, universal wages, police brutality and of course, the mental load.

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razmanda
Educated: A Memoir | Tara Westover
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Pickpick

What a heartbreaking, fascinating memoir. Westover takes the reader through her childhood, raised by survivalist extremists in the mountains of Idaho. It‘s a really hard listen, with rampant abuse and cruelty, but it‘s worthwhile to listen to how she made it out alive and mostly intact. I wish her peace.

blurb
razmanda
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Highly recommended by people I trust, ready to start tonight and cry myself back into regularly scheduled therapy.

review
razmanda
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Pickpick

What a page turner and heart breaker! It‘d be easy to describe as a murder mystery but it‘s much more complex than that. It‘s about motherhood, ableism, comparison, and how a series of people and events can lead to devastating and unintended consequences. Much more than I was expecting, to be honest.

34 likes1 stack add
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razmanda
Normal People | Sally Rooney
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Mehso-so

Meh. I had really high expectations for this one based on how buzzy it‘s been with raves all over the place from reviewers I usually agree with but this one wasn‘t for me. The main characters are young and dumb and sort of in love, can‘t figure out how to actually communicate with one another for shit, and spend a lot of time avoiding making decisions. I get that they‘re only in their very twenties by the end but I don‘t have the patience for it.

marleed I agree! 2mo
Hooked_on_books Thank you for affirming for me my lack of interest in this book. 😬 2mo
TheEllieMo I felt that about Conversations With Friends, but I was advised by someone whose opinion I trust that this was much much better. You‘ve got me worried now! (edited) 2mo
28 likes3 comments
review
razmanda
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Panpan

I wanted to like this more than I did, but the main characters are deeply frustrating and determined to be unhappy for most of the book. I get that romance requires a few obstacles but for 95% of the book, the One True Pairing just moon at one another while leaving a trail of broken hearts in their wake. It got to the point where I didn't want either of them to get a happily ever after with one another or anyone else.

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razmanda
Magic for Liars | Sarah Gailey
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Pickpick

I loved it. I kinda knew going in that I would love it, but it‘s always a little scary reading an author that you admire so much. Because what if they fuck it all up? High expectations are the death of many a relationship, not just one between an author and their readers. But y‘all, this book is great. It‘s very different from the world of River of Teeth but no less charming or engaging. I love Ivy Gamble and I hope to meet her again one day.

18 likes1 stack add
review
razmanda
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Pickpick

Wow! This is a densely layered fantasy novel that follows a princess in the days and months after her father‘s death which looks more and more like a massive conspiracy. There are a ton of reveals, especially in the last 50 pages and the epilogue, and in retrospect, they all make click into place. I can only assume there will be a sequel or two, and I‘ll be first in line to read them.

18 likes1 stack add
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razmanda
I Miss You When I Blink: Essays | Mary Laura Philpott
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Pickpick

Really enjoyable collection of essays that made me feel VERY SEEN but in a, “hey, you‘re not alone; we‘re all fundamentally broken and that‘s okay,” kind of way. I was not familiar with the author but when Samantha Irby praises it, I make it a priority. Bitches gotta read indeed.

14 likes1 stack add
review
razmanda
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Pickpick

This is a fascinating deep-dive into a murder mystery, insurance fraud, justice... and Harper Lee. Impeccably researched and compulsively listenable, Cep outlines the original murders, the murder of the suspected murderer, and the lawyer who represented both, albeit at different times for obvious reasons, in the first half of the book, leaving the last half to Lee and how her story intersected with theirs.

18 likes1 stack add
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razmanda
Adele | Lela Slimani
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Pickpick

Fascinating, challenging read about the tension between a woman‘s desires and her societal role as a wife and mother. It reminded me q lot of Kate Chopin‘s The Awakening, and in the author‘s notes, she mentions being inspired by Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina. It‘s also very, very French.

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razmanda
Washington Black | Esi Edugyan
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Mehso-so

Hmmm. I‘m not sure how I feel about this one. I can see why others enjoyed it but it wasn‘t for me. The ending felt unfinished and while I don‘t mind an open-for-interpretation fade-out, this felt more frustrating than anything. It‘s a hell of a journey but without payoff or resolution, I don‘t quite understand what the point was. That said, it‘s beautifully written. So. Yeah. Like I said, don‘t really know how I feel about this one.

DefLeppard Me too, I am giving it a so so too. Loved it up until the last page and it was like, what the hell?? What happens next. 😔 3mo
27 likes1 comment
review
razmanda
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Pickpick

I did it! I finished this giant, wonderful, huge, great, MASSIVE book! Have I mentioned how long it is?!

But seriously, this was a truly magical read. Marketed as a feminist fantasy, I was a little leery, but the cast of characters is inclusive, thoughtful and well-developed, and the plot is clear from the beginning, keeping a steady pace. There was no real “lag” in the story, and there was a lot of story to cover. All the stars.

Ashley_Nicoletto I also gave this all the stars. I adored it. 3mo
Beatlefan129 Your cat has the most beautiful eyes 😻 3mo
JSW I‘m on page 344! 😆 Really enjoying it. 3mo
21 likes3 comments
review
razmanda
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Mehso-so

I love everyone involved with this show and this book. I just want to get that out of the way because I think it‘s my deep abiding fandom that has me feeling a little disappointed. I think the disconnect is the third person narrator instead of Veronica herself. I‘m so used to seeing this world through her lens, and this tonal shift creates a distance I‘m not used to.

TLDR: it‘s fine, but it‘ll only make you miss the show more if you‘re a fan.

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razmanda
House with Chicken Legs | Sophie Anderson
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Pickpick

I very rarely read middle-grade novels so I had to remind myself that this is from the point of view and intended for twelve year olds but overall, I really enjoyed this retelling of the Baba Yaga folklore.

Weaponxgirl The artwork on the cover is lovely 3mo
18 likes1 comment
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razmanda
Sometimes I Lie | Alice Feeney
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Pickpick

Holy unreliable narrator! This was a fun, twisty, unpredictable read and the audiobook reader was fantastic. No big takeaways, just a nice brain-break.

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razmanda
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Pickpick

This was my first experience with manga but I really enjoyed it! It was a fast read, of course, and mostly world-building but at the end, I find myself intrigued and will try to find the next volume. I love the gender-bending aspects as well as the mystery at the book‘s core.

11 likes1 stack add
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razmanda
The Paragon Hotel | Lyndsay Faye
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Pickpick

Written from the point of view of an Italian-Welsh flapper in the 1920‘s, Paragon Hotel is both a mafia-laced mystery and an indictment of systemic racism. Half the story is told in flash-backs in Harlem as the Families begin to take hold, and the other half is after Alice makes a run from the mafia all the way to Portland. There, she plays a bit of the white savior in a hotel for black people, which wasn‘t great but I enjoyed the book overall.

review
razmanda
Sawkill Girls | Claire Legrand
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Pickpick

Oh, these girls will break your heart and make you believe in the power of female friendship, literal and figurative, and have you ready to fight against monsters, also literal and figurative. I loved the allegory, too, a timely commentary.

20 likes1 stack add
blurb
razmanda
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Fascinating deep-dive into Lauryn Hill‘s seminal album, hip hop culture and the way America treats celebrity but more specifically, black women.

Weaponxgirl I loved this and had to buy the album straight after I read it. 4mo
20 likes1 stack add1 comment