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Smarkies

Smarkies

Joined May 2016

Love of books (and art) 😄
review
Smarkies
The Boy Who Lost Fairyland | Catherynne M. Valente
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Pickpick

An interlude in September's tale but just as richly told as the rest of the series. Looking good forward to the final book to see how thr author ties it all up.

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Smarkies
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Pickpick

Was introduced to this book owing to the excellent podcast by the author. It is hopeful yet sad, funny yet thoughtful. The author weaves his life through the essays about different items which he gives a rating to. Glad I finally got to this book.
#roll100

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Smarkies
The Thursday Murder Club | Richard Osman
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Pickpick

This is my wheelhouse. A cosy murder with some depth in terms of characters. This had twists and spins and also had a warmth from the characters. One quibble - It did have a little bit too many characters in it and (especially towards the end) I had to try and recollect who someone was.
Read for #bookspin

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Smarkies
Passing | Larson, Nella
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Pickpick

Was looking forward to pick this up as I had heard about it about 2 years ago. A short classic that is worth the read to understand the push and pull of passing as white.
#roll100
#1929
#192025

Librarybelle I have this on my to read list…a classic I really want to read 3w
Smarkies @Librarybelle do! It is less than a 100 pages! 😁 3w
32 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Smarkies
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Pickpick

What a romp!
Read for #bookspin and #authorborninafrica #booked2022

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Smarkies
Fridays with the Wizards | Jessica Day George
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Pickpick

Celie's adventures continue with the griffins and the wizards. I liked that the parents (especially the queen) were given a bit more airtime in this book.

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Smarkies
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Pickpick

When I realised that this was Julia Child's editor I was intrigued as I have just finished watching the TV series 'Julia'. However, this is a very slim memoir with a third of it dedicated to recipes. As such, it just skims the surface of her life. I would have appreciated a more in depth memoir of what seems to be a very interesting life.
A soft pick.
#booked2022 #includesarecipe #roll100

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Smarkies
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Pickpick

A very frank and passionate diary by Dara (fifteen years old at the point of writing and autistic). It documents the uprooting of his home and how he relates to nature and his increasing prominence as an environmental activist. His descriptions of his encounters with the nature around him were evocative and lyrical. The way that he talks about his autism was enlightening.
#roll100

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Smarkies
The Birchbark House | Louise Erdrich
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Pickpick

I now understand why this book is so beloved. ❤️
Enjoyed it thoroughly.

Kristin_Reads This has been on my TBR for so long! 1mo
31 likes1 comment
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Smarkies
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Pickpick

Had never heard about this King Arthur story but it is an interesting one which centers around Gawain.
FYI - The cover is misleading. 😅😅 I expected there to be more dragon based on it.
Also my #doublespin for June.

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Smarkies
Piranesi | Susanna Clarke
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Pickpick

Slim book which weaves in mystery and magical realism. I was absolutely drawn into the story when the labyrinths were introduced. However, I found my interest lagging slightly as we approached the halfway point of the book. It seemed to drag a little. The end really pivoted - I definitely did not think it was heading that way.
A soft pick for me (partially due to all the hype as well I think).

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Smarkies
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Pickpick

Enjoyed the general premise and the dry wit. I also enjoyed the little diversions that gave us a glimpse into Skelton's life as a lawyer. However, the ending left me a bit....hmmmmm....
A pick but I guess depending on my mood it could be a soft pick.

31 likes1 stack add
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Smarkies
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Pickpick

Between a pick and a so-so. A small oddish book about an odd man. I did learn some about Reginald Farrer but I am on the fence about how I feel about this unlikely ungrateful man... is this enough or did I want him a little more fleshed out?

LeeRHarry Great photo! Looks like you‘re somewhere super relaxing 😊 2mo
Smarkies @LeeRHarry it was a local fruit orchard - where we could taste the harvested durians. 😁 2mo
LeeRHarry Oh durians - yikes! 😆 2mo
See All 6 Comments
Smarkies @LeeRHarry not my favourite either but so much better fresh. 2mo
IuliaC Lovely photo! 😍 2mo
Smarkies @IuliaC thanks! From a recent trip. 😁 2mo
29 likes6 comments
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Smarkies
Alistair Cooke's America | Alistair Cooke
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Pickpick

Written in conjuction with a BBC TV series, Alistair cooke was a commentator I used to listen to in university. This book is an overview of America from the time when Columbus "discovered" it to about the 1970s or so.

LiteraryinLawrence Does anyone else who grew up watching Sesame Street remember Cookie Monster as Alistair Cookie? That is what first comes to my mind as an almost 40 year old. 😋 3mo
31 likes2 comments
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Smarkies
A Winter's Promise | Christelle Dabos
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Pickpick

A little slow in spots but I am definitely intrigued by the world building and the political intrigue in the plot. Will be picking up book 2 when I am able.
This is also my #bookspin read for May.

28 likes1 stack add
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Smarkies
Clap When You Land | Elizabeth Acevedo
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Pickpick

Was surprised at how much I enjoyed this novel in verse. About 2 sisters - one in New York and the other in the #dominicanrepublic ,who find out about each other when their father dies in a plane crash.
Emotional and impactful in audio as well as on paper.

32 likes1 stack add
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Smarkies
Dusk: A Novel | F. Sionil Jose
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Pickpick

A novel that charts some historical events in the #Philippines - from the Spanish occupation to the American one. Theme is strongly about nationalism and imperialism. I had planned to read this last year for #readingasia2021 but #bookspin has helped me tick it off my TBR. 🎉🎉

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Smarkies
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Pickpick

Gives a good overview of how the British via Robert Fortune managed to obtain the valuable tea seedlings from the wuyi mountains in China to improve on the tea plantations in their other territories and therefore eat into the Chinese monopoly on good tea.

32 likes1 stack add
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Smarkies
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Pickpick

A quick audiobook with some good points to help one stop overthinking.

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Smarkies
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Bailedbailed

I generally don't read the synopsis of a book when I pick it up and go in quite blind. Got through about one third of this. It was dark ( I could deal- ish... ), the language was lyrical (great), but then there was that graphic animal cruelty scene and I don't think this book will be for me - what with me being on the fence about "dark".
Was hoping to read this as a nautical book for #booked2022. Will have to pick another.

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Smarkies
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Pickpick

A collection on essays from journalists based in the #middleeast . They were grouped into similar themes but it was a good intro into some translated journalism and different view points.
A #bookspin read as well as #booked2022 #writtenbyajournalist

23 likes1 stack add
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Smarkies
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Pickpick

In the vein of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. This book is about a group of ladies in chilbury who like other women around the country supported their country during world war 2. Surprising little twists here and there in the plot kept me engaged. Loved the humour in the journals and letters written.
Read for one of my #roll100

36 likes1 stack add
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Smarkies
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Pickpick

Lyrically written book about love lost and found.
Read for my March #bookspin.

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Smarkies
The Road to Angkor | Christopher Pym
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Mehso-so

The author decides to try and find the ancient road that leads from the vietnamese coast to Angkor. He was not successful in trekking according to the road but he managed to make it from point to point through some pretty overgrown jungle areas.
Read for #roll100 and realised that this can be used for #booked2022 #involvesanexploration .
Overall - an interesting but not the most riveting read.

26 likes1 comment
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Smarkies
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Pickpick

A little draggy in parts but overall a pleasant read.
I loved joining the author on this book of the overlooked Bennet sister.
Read for #pemberlittens but also considering this for #aboutsisters for #booked2022

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Smarkies
The Rasp: A Detective Story | Philip MacDonald
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Mehso-so

Started off promising but veered off a little into predictable and perhaps a bit too much swooning from the hero. 😂😂
Read for #roll100

LeahBergen But a great cover! 😄 4mo
Smarkies @LeahBergen definitely! That is the reason why I picked it up. 😂😂 4mo
25 likes2 comments
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Smarkies
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Pickpick

A simple book about the healing qualities of a dog that comes into the life of a lonely child.

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Smarkies
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Pickpick

I did not expect this book to be as humorous as it was.
Read for #booked2022 #titlerepeatsitself
@Cinfhen @BarbaraTheBibliophage @4thhouseontheleft

BarbaraTheBibliophage So goooood!! 5mo
Cinfhen Still haven‘t read this one ☝️ I‘ve been meaning too, forever! 5mo
Smarkies @Cinfhen the only reason I picked it up was because of the prompt! 😂😂 5mo
34 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Smarkies
Eight Detectives | Alex Pavesi
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Pickpick

A soft pick for me as I enjoyed the originality - it definitely catches you in the beginning. However, it tried a little too much to be clever for me and I felt at times that I was being "lectured" to. However, there were definitely twists on top of twists.
Read for #amurdermystery for #booked2022
@Cinfhen @BarbaraTheBibliophage @4thhouseontheleft

Cinfhen I‘m intrigued 😜 5mo
Smarkies @Cinfhen give it a go! One of the more original books I have read in a while. 5mo
Cinfhen Stacked ❤️thanks 5mo
34 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Smarkies
Wednesdays in the Tower | Jessica Day George
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Pickpick

Part of the Castle Glower series. A griffin is born in the tower and the castle unveils the secrets it has been holding for so long.
This one ends on a cliffhanger, so it's a good thing I have the next book on hand.
#booked2022
#aboutarealorfictionalroyal

24 likes2 stack adds
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Smarkies
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Pickpick

Another book in the Peculiar Crimes Unit. These books also delve into aspects of London which I am not familiar with - in this case the lost rivers which are now underground. A little meandering at times but the dry wit does help me through.

29 likes1 stack add
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Smarkies
Disoriental | Ngar Djavadi
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Pickpick

A little disorienting at first, but overall an enjoyable read about the narrator's family life in #iran and #france. I loved the way the stories flowed and intertwined, weaving towards what the narrator dubs as THE EVENT.
Realised that I could use this for #acomingoutstory for #booked2022
@Cinfhen @BarbaraTheBibliophage @4thhouseontheleft

Cinfhen Gorgeous cover awesome review💜 6mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage Sounds fascinating! Is the cover creature a phoenix? Or dragon? 6mo
Smarkies @BarbaraTheBibliophage I think it is a phoenix as the author makes reference to being born again. 6mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Smarkies I thought so! It‘s beautiful. 6mo
35 likes4 comments
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Smarkies
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Mehso-so

The rating on this is not so much the book but basically my relationship to short stories.
Read for #roll100

28 likes1 stack add
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Smarkies
Ariadne | Jennifer Saint
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Pickpick

Told from the point of view of Ariadne and her sister, Phaedra, this retelling helped to ground some of these stories for me and to give more emphasis to the women in the stories.
Read for #booked2022 #thinkgreek #greece
@Cinfhen @BarbaraTheBibliophage @4thhouseontheleft

Cinfhen Gorgeous edition 😍I really liked this book!! Great choice 6mo
wanderinglynn That‘s a beautiful cover! 😍 6mo
Smarkies @wanderinglynn it is! I have seen other covers for this book and I think this one is the prettiest one. 😍😍 6mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage My goodness, that cover is exquisite. Glad the inside was equally lovely. (edited) 5mo
45 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Smarkies
Dinosaur Therapy | James Stewart
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Pickpick

Love the IG comics. So had to pick this up when I saw it at the bookshop.😁

34 likes1 stack add
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Smarkies
The Hippopotamus Pool | Elizabeth Peters
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Pickpick

Enjoyable read as usual. I have a deep love for this Amelia Peabody series. Especially love the narrator for this series as well.

Blueberry I agree with both ❤️ 6mo
CarolynM 6mo
32 likes3 comments
review
Smarkies
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Pickpick

One woman's journey to finding something more to believe in. Tackled with alot of humour as she works her way through laughing yoga, burning man, shamans, soul cycle etc.
If you are looking for something serious, this is not it - but it definitely suited my mood and entertained me.
Read for #aboutacultorreligion for #booked2022 as well as #bookspin
@Cinfhen @4thhouseontheleft @BarbaraTheBibliophage

Cinfhen Sounds really delightful 😊 6mo
37 likes1 comment
review
Smarkies
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Pickpick

It has taken me a while to get to (and through) Volume 2 of this family saga. I do enjoy the goings on of this privileged Chinese family when I do get stuck in but sometimes other more fast paced books do take precedence.
Finally finished this for #setinchina for #booked2022
In this volume the unraveling of the family's finances are hinted of.
@Cinfhen @BarbaraTheBibliophage @4thhouseontheleft

Cinfhen Gorgeous cover art 6mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage Well done! 6mo
36 likes2 comments
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Smarkies
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Pickpick

Something a little lighter to balance out my heavier reads this year. Definitely hit that spot.
Also part of the #roll100 for this month.

Eggs One of my favorites 😻 love these characters ❤️📚❤️ 7mo
39 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Smarkies
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Pickpick

A surprisingly raw book. I have not watched the movie but from what I read that has more romance than the book portrayed.
#mentalhealth #mentalillness
Picked this book up because of #bookspin

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Smarkies
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Pickpick

This was a hard book to get through because of the subject matter - I see aging in myself and those I love around me. But it is a very important book to read regarding the subject matter.
A definite pick for me.

Nutmegnc I saw him in person ( precovid!) and he discussed the circumstances around writing this book and the situation of healthcare in general and end of life care. He was a really interesting speaker. 7mo
Smarkies @Nutmegnc what a treat! 7mo
tokorowilliamwallace @Nutmegnc This is neat. I got to see two author lectures of their books and lives from local public library events when I lived just outside the Baltimore city line (Christina Dalcher and Eric R. Thomas), and a 3 hour 'ego depth work in the second half of life' lecture by Washington, D.C. Jungian analyst literally right before the pandemic hit and the shut down began, and I'm so glad I got to experience those! Orlando public library system step up 7mo
See All 9 Comments
batsy I really want to read this. But caring for an aging mother who was recently ill—feel like it might hit too close to home at the moment. I keep putting it off. 7mo
Smarkies @batsy it was really hard for me to get through the first few chapters. I really had to space out my reading of it because at times I was quite "stressed" by what he was explaining. 7mo
Nutmegnc @batsy yeah, with the pandemic, I‘m pretty much at my emotional max. I‘m so sorry you‘re dealing with family health problems on top@of that. 7mo
batsy @Smarkies I get what you mean and thanks for mentioning that! I will read it but will try to attempt it when I'm feeling ready. 7mo
batsy @Nutmegnc Thank you for your kind words. And yes, I feel most people are at their capacity with the stress of the last two years. I hope it gets better for all of us. 7mo
Nutmegnc @batsy We can only hope. 7mo
38 likes1 stack add9 comments
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Smarkies
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Mehso-so

Not my favourite Discworld book but it definitely still had a ton of humour. It was just a little too choppy for me. Maybe if I had read Faust I would have appreciated this more?
1st book off the list for #roll100 @PuddleJumper 😁

PuddleJumper Whoo! That's great! 7mo
22 likes1 comment
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Smarkies
Diggers | Terry Pratchett
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Pickpick

I enjoyed this second book in the series more than the first. The numerous nomes have seemed to grow on me. 😂
Read this as my #doublespin for January!
@thearomaofbooks

19 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Smarkies
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Mehso-so

I enjoyed the first 2 books more. 😞
Valente does have a flowery writing style which carries on to this book. As usual she draws from classic children books but the plot in this was a bit convoluted and September seemed to lack some agency in her choices.

smalldogs_bigbooks2419 What‘s the series called? 7mo
Smarkies @smalldogs_bigbooks2419 it's called "Fairyland" on Goodreads 7mo
26 likes2 comments
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Smarkies
Little: A Novel | Edward Carey
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Thank you @erzascarletbookgasm for this #jolabokaflodswap 🤗🤗
Love the chocolate choice too!
Thank you @MaleficentBookDragon for organising this swap.

Cathythoughts So lovely 🥰 8mo
erzascarletbookgasm Enjoy 😉. Merry Christmas! 🎄💕 8mo
Smarkies @erzascarletbookgasm thanks Jessie! Same to you and your family! 8mo
36 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Smarkies
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Pickpick

The story follows the life of two siblings after the partition of #Bangladesh - the repercussions of the war as well as the rise of radical Islamisation.
Read for #readingasia2021 and also my December #bookspin

@thearomaofbooks

BarbaraBB I read this book too for Bangladesh! 8mo
Smarkies @BarbaraBB I picked it up because I saw it on yours! 😁 8mo
BarbaraBB Ha 😘 8mo
TheAromaofBooks Great progress!!! 8mo
29 likes4 comments
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Smarkies
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Mehso-so

An short odd one. The story is of a friendship that blossoms into something real. But I did not get a handle on Jennifer's motivations for acting the way she did.

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Smarkies
Unnatural Death | Dorothy Leigh Sayers
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Pickpick

Another witty book by the author. Lord Peter Wimsey is just so droll. 😁
The mystery itself was not the most riveting but the humour made up for it.

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Smarkies
Painting as a Pastime | Winston S. Churchill
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Pickpick

Churchill's thoughts on painting as a hobby. Picked this up after reading a biography on him earlier this year.
Read for #doublespin for December @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 8mo
28 likes1 comment
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Smarkies
Holes | Louis Sachar
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Pickpick

I was not sure what I was getting into with this book. The story took a while to gel together and at times I kept wanting it to move along a little bit faster. But all in all a fairly enjoyable read.
Read for #bookspin for November.
@TheAromaofBooks

Sharpeipup The movie does it Justice 8mo
Smarkies @Sharpeipup I'll look it up. 😁 8mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 8mo
30 likes3 comments