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shaynarae

shaynarae

Joined December 2017

A girl and her books 📚 And often some cats
review
shaynarae
Cape May | Chip Cheek
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Panpan

I knew this book would be trashy, but it was worse than I imagined. It was a poorly written romance / faux erotica masquerading as wannabe literature (or maybe this is the kind of romance men like to read?). I was fine with it being bad until there was such a chasm of consequence between the male and female protagonists following the events of the book. It feels like this book missed an opportunity to make a comment rather than pulling a ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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shaynarae
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Pickpick

I LOVED this book! Beautiful, evocative, full of strong women, it‘s a story of 2 friends who are part of a women‘s collective of divers in a matriarchal society on the island of Jeju, South Korea in the 1940s onward and the impact of war and cultural & personal perceptions on their relationship. Anyone who‘s looking for a solidly good + beachy read should pick this up.

21 likes2 stack adds
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shaynarae
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Pickpick

My self-imposed obligatory whale read of the year (because I ❤️🐋🐳!) This book was more about whaling than I expected, but overall one of the more well-rounded whaling books I‘ve read. Moby Dick is very clearly Philip Hoare‘s muse and following it in structure. This means that, not only is whaling addressed, but also an admiration of the whales themselves. It‘s definitely not a scholarly or academic book, though.

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shaynarae
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Here are my #top6reads of 2019 so far. These books made such a huge impression on me and are ones that I keep thinking about and/or find myself constantly recommending. Happy halfway, everyone!

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Love Daisy 💗💗💗 3w
Hoopiefoot I read Barbarian Days a few years ago and still find myself thinking about it ❤️🏄‍♀️ 3w
shaynarae @Hoopiefoot That‘s awesome! I picked up surfing last year and fell madly in love with it. Barbarian Days captures surfing in ways I didn‘t think verbally possible. It‘s such a wonderful book! 3w
40 likes3 comments
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shaynarae
Once Upon a River | Diane Setterfield
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Pickpick

What a wonderful book! Diane Setterfield did not disappoint. Set in the 19th century England along the Thames, it‘s a tale of a mysterious appearance of a small child who awakens from death. Her identity and the stories of the community weave together and entangle themselves in the question of what is real and what is imagined.

atla This is my absolute favorite of the year so far 💕💕 3w
36 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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shaynarae
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Water reads and beach books for July‘s #tbr 🌊🏖

17 likes1 stack add
blurb
shaynarae
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10 books this #pridemonth
3 🎧 audio
2 🖥 ebooks
5 📚physical books
Fiction: 8
Nonfiction/essays/memoirs: 2
From my shelf: 2
#monthlywrapup #junestats

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shaynarae
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Pickpick

Ending #pridemonth with this one. Vuong‘s poetry and skill with verse definitely comes through in this novel. The story felt so real that I often had to remind myself this was fiction, not a memoir. A challenging book, but one that‘s beautiful and sticking with me. 🏳️‍🌈

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shaynarae
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Pickpick

While I have some reservations about the author, the cultural attitude towards minorities in the 1940s (the decade in which this book was written), and what happens in the book, the story itself was interesting and heartbreaking. It moved along beautifully and captivated my attention. I‘ve had a hard time focusing in reading lately, but I sat down with this book for substantial chunks of time. #pridemonth 🏳️‍🌈

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shaynarae
This is How It Always Is | Laurie Frankel
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Pickpick

I absolutely LOVED this book! Everything about it wonderful: the story, the writing, the layers - the whole package. It‘s a beautiful tale of family and transformations, fairy tale and real life, examined through the lens of gender-coding and queerness. #pridemonth 🏳️‍🌈

Amiable I loved this book too 👍🏼 1mo
25 likes1 comment
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shaynarae
Daisy Jones and The Six | Taylor Jenkins Reid
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Pickpick

A novel about sex, drugs, and rock and roll in 70s was not at all appealing to me. But after hearing such rave reviews, I decided to give it a whirl. The oral history format of the band and related characters really lent itself well to it being performed as an audiobook. I found myself looking forward to every chance I had to listen. After it was over, I wished the band was real 😂

BookwormM Me too 1mo
Cailey_Mac I‘m listening to it now! I love that they do a full cast of characters 1mo
AnnaDesourdy I totally wish the band was real. Several times while reading I had to remind myself I couldn't google them 🤣 1mo
29 likes3 comments
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shaynarae
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Pickpick

Yes, this book is just as good as everyone says it is! Who knew a writing and style guide could make a great audiobook? I was entertained and intrigued from beginning to end. The constant LOL‘ing made it hard to listen to while exercising, but I couldn‘t turn it off. This is a book I would definitely read again and will recommend to everyone who‘s into words.

15 likes1 stack add
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shaynarae
The Blue | Nancy Bilyeau
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Panpan

I had high expectations for this book about an 18th young female painter sent to spy on an English porcelain manufacturer and steal the recipe for their new shade of blue. About halfway through, the story took a weird turn into a romantic interest and nose-dived into bad, nonsensical writing and a plot that lost steam. Any recommendations out there for a GOOD art-centered book?

shaynarae @emz711 Thanks! Christopher Moore is always good for a laugh. I wonder if I can get my book club to go for it 😜 1mo
18 likes2 comments
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shaynarae
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Pickpick

This book was such a delightful read. I loved the simple, quiet story of Eleanor Roosevelt and her companion/lover Hick as 2 women in love throughout years of their lives and their differing personal situations. The extent of historical truth didn‘t matter to me at all; it was the light, airy, and sweet story of the 2 women that carried me along. #pridemonth 🏳️‍🌈

Soubhiville Beautiful photo! 1mo
shaynarae @Soubhiville Thank you! 1mo
23 likes1 stack add2 comments
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shaynarae
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Pickpick

Very academic (aka dry-but-interesting). If you‘re interested in gay male culture, rights, and activism in early 20th century Berlin, this book is for you. While it sets Berlin in context in relation to other European cities, it‘s very specific to time and place, so don‘t expect a broad scope. #pridemonth 🏳️‍🌈

24 likes1 stack add
blurb
shaynarae
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My Pride month #tbr 🏳️‍🌈📚

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shaynarae
All Systems Red | Martha Wells
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Pickpick

Sci-fi is not my thing, but I appreciated how well-written this book is. It‘s amusing and simple without trying too hard or being overly redundant. I don‘t feel compelled to continue reading the series, but as far as sci-fi books go, this was a great reading experience for me. And I loved snapping this photo with my own fuzzy murderbot. #catsoflitsy

Now onto my Pride reading list! 🏳️‍🌈🎉

Soubhiville 🐱💜. I love that you called him/her Murderbot. That describes my guys pretty well too! 2mo
27 likes1 comment
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shaynarae
The Book of Life | Deborah Harkness
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Panpan

Unpopular opinion: I hated this book. It elicited more eye-rolling and groaning than any other book I‘ve ever read. Though the audio narration was fantastic, there was nothing to be done about the overwritten prose or unnecessarily endless expansion of royally flat, boring cast characters. Every minute of getting through this book was incredibly painful for me.

shaynarae I think I wanted the story to be something it‘s not. In the first book, I thought Matthew was wooing Diana to get to Ashmole 782, and that this was a hustle story. As the pages and books went on and it became abundantly clear I was very wrong about that, my tolerance for the dull characters and antiquated power dynamics faded quickly. (edited) 2mo
SW-T Book one was the strongest in the trilogy. Book three was ok, but I didn‘t care for book two or her follow up in 2mo
17 likes2 comments
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shaynarae
Words of Radiance | Brandon Sanderson
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Fewer books this month, due to another lengthy Brandon Sanderson Stormlight Archive novel and warming weather getting me going with outdoor activities.
3 🎧 audio
1 🖥 ebooks
4 📚physical books
Fiction: 5
Nonfiction/essays/memoirs: 3
From my shelf: 1
#monthlywrapup #maystats

TheNerdyProfessor I loved Beautiful Ruins! Such a beautiful book. 2mo
shaynarae @TheNerdyProfessor It really was delightful! I‘m so glad I picked it up. 2mo
20 likes1 stack add2 comments
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shaynarae
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
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Pickpick

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I felt like I was in a bit of a reading slump and was picking my way through this at a snail‘s pace. But every time I sat down with it, even for just a few pages at a time, I was immediately immersed in it, which is a testament to the writing. After reading a 1,000+ page book in a fantasy series, I appreciated the brevity of this story. Though I can see how it may feel insufficient for other readers.

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shaynarae
Words of Radiance | Brandon Sanderson
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Pickpick

Much better and way more exciting than Way of Kings. I‘ll definitely be reading the next book in the Stormlight Archive series.

TrishB I loved this one 💕 2mo
20 likes1 comment
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shaynarae
Beautiful Ruins | Jess Walter
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Pickpick

I picked this up because I was in desperate need of an audiobook for a long, solo car trip, and this was recommended both as lovely book with an amazing narrator (Edoardo Ballerini). I was not disappointed. The story was sweet and lovely, and Ballerini made it come alive in ways I don‘t think I could‘ve done for myself if I was reading the text. Add this to your summer audiobook TBR.

20 likes1 stack add
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shaynarae
Spring | Ali Smith
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Pickpick

Not my favorite of Ali Smith‘s seasonal quartet, but that doesn‘t mean that this wasn‘t an absolute delight to read. Ali Smith does literary magical realism and social commentary masterfully well. This novel comments on the current political and social climate, including #metoo, immigration, and surveillance. Sad, full of promise, beautifully executed. Very evocative of the sentiments suggested by the title.

Emilymdxn I felt exactly the same! 2mo
22 likes1 comment
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shaynarae
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Pickpick

The true crime art heist‘s book‘s natural history cousin. I found this book to be quite interesting, particularly in the exploration of a natural history theft (rather than art) and the motives and deals behind it. I had no idea feathers could be so captivating.

24 likes3 stack adds
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shaynarae
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Panpan

While I found the topic to be interesting, the writing and structure felt lacking. It was like reading an undergraduate paper, and I was hoping for something more academic and insightful. What I got was lots of anecdotes about delusion, murder, etc that has happened to people at sea and what became of them. This book wasn‘t without interesting bits of information, but it was largely lacking in depth and a cohesive narrative. #catsoflitsy

rretzler 😻 2mo
19 likes1 comment
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shaynarae
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Mehso-so

Disclaimer: this book was at a disadvantage due to my expectations of it being something it wasn‘t, and I hated it on audio. So my experience of it is not reflective of the book itself. I thought I‘d be getting another Obama staffer memoir of the personal experience during the Obama administration. But Rhodes‘ memoir is much more of a political play-by-play of the administration. It‘s certainly interesting in its own right but not what I expected

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shaynarae
The Binding | Bridget Collins
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Pickpick

🏳️‍🌈📚💕 I thoroughly enjoyed this book: great writing style, LGBTQ characters, book about books, a bit of a meta reading experience. Super cool! My only complaint is that it‘s very clearly Collins‘ first “adult” novel, as it still has a very YA feel to it. And the protagonists have a hard time finishing a sentence, which annoys me. But other than that, this book was a delight! #catsoflitsy

29 likes1 stack add
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shaynarae
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13 books this month:
4 🎧 audio
3 🖥 ebooks
6 📖 physical books
Fiction: 7
Nonfiction/memoir/essays: 6
From my shelf: 1
#aprilstats #monthlywrapup

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shaynarae
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Pickpick

For not being at all interested in Silicon Valley start-ups, I found this book to be the page-turner it was promised to be. #catsoflitsy

rretzler 😻 3mo
30 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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shaynarae
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Pickpick

A formulaic post apocalyptic novel, but I loved the queer representation of characters and lifestyles. I was quite surprised by how into the book I got, but I‘m not sure I‘ll pick up the other books in this series. Trigger warnings for everything you‘d expect in a post apocalyptic novel where women and children were the largest casualties of a plague and the population becomes stunted. #catsoflitsy

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shaynarae
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this book not as a thriller, but as a look into some of the challenges around family dynamics and childcare. #catsoflitsy

Kshakal Such a pretty kitty! 3mo
shaynarae @Kshakal Thank you! 😸 3mo
rretzler 😻 3mo
29 likes3 comments
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shaynarae
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Pickpick

YES!! This book is awesome, and I loved it on audio. I‘ve listened to several books now about women‘s rage, and this one has its niche in focusing primarily around politics and activism. I cried several times because I found it so moving. As a white lady, I would strongly recommend this to all women, but particularly American white women. Definitely pick this one up!!

Emilymdxn Glad you loved it as much as I did! 3mo
shaynarae @Emilymdxn It was just SOOO good! 💪 3mo
14 likes1 stack add2 comments
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shaynarae
The Bird King | G. Willow Wilson
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Pickpick

I LOVED this book! It‘s a formulaic fantasy adventure story that takes places in the 15th century of Spain‘s Andalusia region but for the 21st century reader. Where the story is refreshing is in its diverse characters, its upset of stereotypical tropes, and the very direct commentary on perceptions in today‘s culture. If you‘re looking for a smart, adult version of Le Guin‘s A Wizard of Earthsea, this book is for you.

22 likes1 stack add
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shaynarae
Thick: And Other Essays | Tressie McMillan Cottom
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Pickpick

Attn fans of Roxane Gay‘s and Keise Layman‘s essays: this book is for you. Cottom addresses race, gender, beauty, capitalism, class, etc in such a brilliant and provocative way that I had a hard time putting this book down. My only complaint is that I wanted more! #catsoflitsy

ShyBookOwl That's a good complaint to have 😊 3mo
shaynarae @ShyBookOwl Indeed it is! 😄📚 3mo
rretzler 🤣 3mo
32 likes1 stack add3 comments
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shaynarae
Villa America | Liza Klaussmann
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Mehso-so

Another “meh” book club pick. This one is a historical fiction novel in the Jazz Age that centers around the Murphy family and their circle of artistic friends (including Scott F. Fitzgerald and Hemingway). At least there were queer characters in this, which was refreshing for me.

Does anybody else stay in book clubs just for the company (not for the books)?
#catsoflitsy

Crazeedi Sweet kitty 😻 3mo
DannyHattan Never been part of one, but it‘s on my list this year to join one. Stick with it 🙌🏻 3mo
RidgewayGirl I think that joining for the conversations is the only way to survive a book club! I‘ve yet to find one composed only of serious readers! 3mo
shaynarae @Crazeedi Thanks! @DannyHattan Will do. Enjoy your foray into book clubbing! 3mo
shaynarae @RidgewayGirl Haha! Fair enough! It‘s tough finding a group of readers who are in sync in just the right way. But very true that conversing around books with some wine and snacks is worthwhile. 3mo
25 likes5 comments
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shaynarae
Sleeping Giants | Sylvain Neuvel
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Pickpick

This story of the gradual discovery of an alien robot told through a compilation of interviews, diaries, and news stories (a la Dracula), was pretty cool and well done in the audiobook. There wasn‘t a satisfying conclusion, or even a real power-driven plot line to be honest, but the characters‘ intrigue were the most compelling elements for me. This is the 1st in a series, but jury‘s still out on whether or not I‘ll pick up the rest.

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shaynarae
Greatest Love Story Ever Told: An Oral History | Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally
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Mehso-so

This was great to listen to on audio and worthwhile to pick up if you want to listen to Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally talk about themselves and banter with each other. It was really sweet and charming. But it is a novelty book, and a fair amount of the material were stories I had heard before in Offerman‘s Paddle Your Own Canoe.

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shaynarae
Gingerbread: A Novel | Helen Oyeyemi
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Mehso-so

I should love a book like this, but while I appreciate it, “love” isn‘t a word I‘d use to describe my reading experience with this one. I didn‘t feel a connection with any of the characters or compelled by the plot. It was like I was at arm‘s length the whole time. To be fair, I came to this book with high expectations, and it‘s easy to be disappointing in those cases. #catsoflitsy

MelissaS I‘m struggling with this one right now. I need to set it aside because it‘s becoming a burden to read it 3mo
Abailliekaras This is exactly how I‘m feeling! Reading it now and can‘t quite get a grip on the characters or story. But want to love it! 😬 3mo
29 likes2 comments
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shaynarae
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Pickpick

Even though I had a limited engagement in 90s rap (I was still a fairly young kid in that decade and living in a rural, conservative community), this book made me want to revisit some of the rap albums/groups that I missed out on or had forgotten about. This is a lovely, brief history through the eyes of and impact on a fan who happens to be a beautiful writer himself.

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shaynarae
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Pickpick

This short story collection of gripping, soulful tales filled with magical realism is nothing short of wonderful! It didn‘t compete with the fairy tale format, though there were similar tropes. And it wasn‘t as surreal as some other magical-realism type collections I‘ve read, which I think made it more accessible without sacrificing any intrigue. #catsoflitsy

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shaynarae
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Pickpick

For what this book was about, it was great and I loved listening to it on audio. However, I was absolutely livid about the dismissive treatment of women in big wave surfing. There was a brief acknowledgement of Maya Gabeira and her accomplishments, but it was fleeting and no commentary on the sexist treatment of her as a female surfer by her male peers. I strongly feel that this deserved explicit treatment.

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shaynarae
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Less books for me this month, but that Brandon Sanderson one was chunky (1000+ pgs).
2 🎧 audio
2 🖥 ebooks
4 📚physical books
Fiction: 5
Nonfiction/essays/memoirs: 3
From my shelf: 1
#monthlywrapup #marchstats

StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Nicely done! 📖💖 4mo
27 likes1 comment
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shaynarae
The Alchemist | Paulo Coelho
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Pickpick

Finally got around to reading this novella-length fable. It was simple, lovely, and just what my soul needed today. Also a great way to meet my goal of reading at least 1 book I own each month when I have only hours left in the day 😅. #catsoflitsy

Kappadeemom So pretty!!! 4mo
Crazeedi Gorgeous fur friend!😻 4mo
35 likes2 comments
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shaynarae
The Way of Kings | Brandon Sanderson
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Pickpick

Not the best fantasy book I read this month (actually, it‘s probably my least favorite of the 3). The writing is mediocre, very masculine, and could‘ve used a more aggressive editor. It took me about 500 pages to really get on board with the world-building and storyline, but once going, it was a good ride. The END though was super exciting! I‘ll definitely be reading the next book. #catsoflitsy

wanderinglynn What a cute snuggle buddy! ❤️🐱 (edited) 4mo
shaynarae @wanderinglynn Thanks! He makes reading extra delightful 😸 4mo
27 likes2 comments
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shaynarae
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Pickpick

Such an awesome collection of essays on black feminism. I loved Cooper‘s writing and her approach and articulation of ideas. And her narration was a joy to listen to. Definitely one I‘d recommend on audio.

Christine Agreed! Loved this audiobook. ❤️ 4mo
25 likes1 stack add1 comment
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shaynarae
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Pickpick

Such an interesting book about overviews of true art heists, specifically of Rembrandts. If you listened to the podcast Last Seen, you‘ll be familiar with some of the accounts. But all of the thefts in this book were fascinating nonetheless. It‘s well written and a quick read. #catsoflitsy

23 likes1 stack add
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shaynarae
Calypso | David Sedaris
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Pickpick

I love listening to David Sedaris on audio! What can I say other than his essays are so darkly delightful?

27 likes1 stack add
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shaynarae
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Pickpick

Not an easy read, but I ended up enjoying this book so much. Luckily I had a lot of time on a plane to indulge in it. The storytelling is fragmented and takes nonlinear twists and turns, which is not a structure I‘m used to. But all of the stories come back to each other, so stick with it. It wasn‘t until I was halfway through the book that I felt comfortable following it. Trigger warnings for violence to everyone everywhere of all kinds.

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shaynarae
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Pickpick

This was a white lady guilty pleasure book for me, and I loved it. It‘s marketed as Outlander meets Mists of Avalon, but it seems way less racy than Outlander (based on what little I‘ve read & trailers I‘ve seen). So Outlander fans - don‘t get your hopes up here. This book is far more about political intrigue than burning romance. But if you‘re in for medieval women manipulating the patriarchy, check this out!

24 likes1 stack add
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shaynarae
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I‘m loving The Lost Queen, and it was super appropriate to be my dinner book date today. Cheers to International Women‘s Day!

Bklover Oh, that sounds heavenly!!!‘ 5mo
shaynarae @Bklover It is! I‘m a huge fan of treat-yourself solo dinner dates with a book. 5mo
Nute You go, Girl! I dig it 💯. 4mo
shaynarae @Nute 🙌 4mo
25 likes4 comments