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stretchkev

stretchkev

Joined November 2019

Stuff will be read. That is all that is promised.
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The Blue Salt Road by Joanne M Harris
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Seventeen by Hideo Yokoyama
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The Portable Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe
review
stretchkev
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Pickpick

A beautifully written and harrowing novel that focuses on how the people that suffered under the Pinochet regime; the victims, the community, and the victimizers, all those who ended up broken. It's an impressive book about coming to terms with unspeakable events.

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stretchkev
Enter the Aardvark | Jessica Anthony
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Panpan

Supposed to be a cutting political satire. More a collection of tired clichés about politics told in a provocative way.

Some interesting tidbits about aardvarks', so no at all bad.

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stretchkev
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Pickpick

Such a bizarre and surreal collection of short stories.

Lots of twisted cosmic and body horror with illustrations that have forever been burned into my mind.

Graywacke Cool picture 2w
27 likes1 stack add1 comment
blurb
stretchkev
Untitled | Untitled
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Made some more of my crazy official today. I do love label makers and my ereaders.

Anyone else name there's?

stretchkev And yes Octavo makes more sense than Quarto for an 8-inch device, but I like the sound of Quarto better, it is somehow less pretentious of the two pretentious sounding words (edited) 3w
readordierachel This is a cool idea 💡 3w
27 likes2 comments
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stretchkev
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Pickpick

After losing his love, Thiago, becomes increasingly disillusioned with his life. When weird occurrences keep happening. He makes a break for a new life far away from his troubles or at least he hopes.

This book is truly one of the more deeply creepy things I've read in while. Its a sinking pit of dread and sorrow until all that's left is the darkness. No escape just the dark. A confusing, bizarre enjoyable as hell read.

Cathythoughts Sounds interesting! Stacking 3w
Reggie I have already stacked this or else I would have after reading your review. 3w
30 likes1 stack add2 comments
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stretchkev
Untitled | Untitled
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This looks open enough to accommodate my absolute chaotic style of reading, and I know where to get plenty of recommendations it is a fun podcast.

vivastory I enjoy this podcast too 3w
Chrissyreadit Off to add another podcast to my playlist 3w
Reggie I miss Rachel being on there with Stephanie. Another horror fiction podcast you might like is Talking Scared. Just a word of caution you might want to read the book before listening to any episode because he has a penchant for spoiling books. 3w
stretchkev @Reggie Rachel is the best, she and Stephanie were great together. Have to check in with Rachel's youtube channel to get her awesome recommendations, but those two bouncing off each other is the best. I'll be sure to check out Talking Scared, so many horror podcasts focus on movies (which is great) but look for the more book focused ones. 3w
26 likes4 comments
blurb
stretchkev
Untitled | Unknown
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Thanks @Liz_M and @Graywacke for tagging me in #Top21of21 Feels like a good year with plenty of Japanese Lit and dark works topping the list.

It certainly is the most I've read in a year! Hard to get it to just 21.

Graywacke Oh, terrific collection 1mo
Ruthiella I‘m going to read this next week for sure 1mo
stretchkev @Ruthiella It really is an affecting book, that is so hard to fit into any one box. I hope you enjoy it whenever you get to it! 1mo
See All 11 Comments
Lcsmcat I liked The Great Passage a lot, too. 1mo
stretchkev @Lcsmcat It was surprising how much I ended up liking this one 1mo
BarbaraBB I love all the Japanese fiction. 1mo
Chelsea.Poole Nice! I have Penance scheduled for a challenge in 2022. For social horror I believe. 🤔 1mo
stretchkev @Chelsea.Poole It‘d certainly work for that prompt! Real World might too if looking for a backup. 1mo
Chelsea.Poole Thank you! And the covers are so similar too! 1mo
Reggie Cirque Berserk and The Fire Next Time! 1mo
44 likes11 comments
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stretchkev
The Trees: A Novel | Percival Everett
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Pickpick

An amazingly good dark humor revenge tale from a societal perspective.

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stretchkev
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Mehso-so

Certainly some interesting tidbits here. Doughty's humor was a miss for me too cringe but that is the way it goes. Glad i tried her book might look into her talks some more, it is an interesting subject in small doses.

28 likes1 stack add
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stretchkev
The Sniper | Kuo-Li Chang
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Bailedbailed

A thriller full of ‘guy‘ details. Not much story here or at least not a compelling one.

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stretchkev
My Heart Is a Chainsaw | Stephen Graham Jones
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Mehso-so

Great writing and fun book. Wish it was drawn out more.

Addison_Reads There's supposed to be a sequel to this one. 1mo
stretchkev @Addison_Reads Yeah, heard that in an interview with Jones on some horror podcast I listen to. I think it'll be a wait and see kind of book for me, love the concept if he'd tone down the slasher killing the entire town bit I'd for sure be on board 1mo
20 likes2 comments
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stretchkev
Paperbacks from Hell | Grady Hendrix
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Mehso-so

Fun little trip down pulp horrors hay day. Remembered quite a few titles I forgot and added a couple of the gems from this retrospective. Grady was perfect for this well versed in the subject but doesn‘t treat it reverence. You got to laugh at some of this, an ultra serious tone would have been wrong here.

I forgot what it was like to sift through the trash to find the garbage!

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stretchkev
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My favorite book list of the year! NPRs book concierge is back with 369 books!

The ability to filter selections is the best tool ever

Chelsea.Poole Love this!! 2mo
vivastory This is my fave list! Thanks for posting! 2mo
DrexEdit Yay! 🥳🥳 I💜💜💜 the book concierge! 2mo
26 likes3 comments
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stretchkev
Cirque Berserk | Jessica Guess
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Pickpick

A very fun, fast slasher from a talented author. I hope to read more from her!

Reggie I liked this one a lot. I liked the new take on the nice guy and the author‘s use of music in here. 2mo
stretchkev @Reggie So much subversion of genre tropes here... done well and not in a gimmicky way. Really was refreshing. 2mo
25 likes1 stack add2 comments
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stretchkev
Witching Hour Theatre | Jonathan Janz
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Pickpick

Fun little slasher and horror movie send up!

19 likes1 stack add
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stretchkev
The Great Passage | Shion Miura
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Pickpick

A slow subtle tale of how a passionate pursuit of something like a dictionary can ignite and define purpose in their lives. Excellent writing and an amazing story.

21 likes1 stack add
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stretchkev
The Laws of the Skies | Grgoire Courtois
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Panpan

Normally I'm on board fir killer kids, but this one was not it. Wanting 6 year olds to behave like children but having an emotional maturity to analyze their reactions didn't work for me.

The adult storylines definitely devolved into a bit of that French stereotypes of affairs and unsaid desires that really had no place in the story.

Reggie I‘m sorry this one didn‘t work for you. Part of what destroyed me in this book is when most of the kids couldn‘t recognize their mortality. They just thought it would get better and most of them asked for their mom. Broke my heart. Lol 2mo
stretchkev @Reggie I definitely wrote it as 6 years for that incredibly dark and effective mommy moment. I think in my head it would have worked better with a mixed age group (6-12) with Enzo and Hugo being the oldest since that fits their thought pattern better and the trio Océane, Luis, and Nathan being just a touch older. Everything can stay, and for me it would have just worked. These are small nitpicks, I know, but it would've kept me more engaged. (edited) 2mo
22 likes2 comments
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stretchkev
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Pickpick

I do so love these little short deep dives into random and esoteric topics, they are a bit all over the place in terms of writing and depth, but something to be learned with each vilume!

Also the covers are amazing even if they are so simple.

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stretchkev
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Pickpick

A passionate ode to libraries: how they are built, what can be lost, and how best they serve our communities. In the microcosm of the LA central 1986 fire is the catalyst for the exploration of so much library history and its future in a tech savy world. Libraries are hard to kill.

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stretchkev
True Crime | Samantha Kolesnik
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Pickpick

The monsters we create are darker and more broken than those we imagine.

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stretchkev
An Unnatural Life | Erin K. Wagner
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Pickpick

A good short exploration nof the human/AI divide. Started better than it ended, but brought up some interesting ideas.

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stretchkev
True Crime | Samantha Kolesnik
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This is Brutal from the very first page! No idea where it goes from here but damn...

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stretchkev
Vigilance | Robert Jackson Bennett
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Pickpick

A dystopian America, taken over by gun violence. Where a massive news corp. stages mass shootings for entertainment and targeted ad revenue. Blinded to the world outside, the invitable happens and everything comes to a violent and chaotic end.

Is it is certainly has a political view, but it's still a bit of a fun, violent and mercifully short novella.

20 likes1 stack add
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stretchkev
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Mehso-so


Like the podcast I found some of these tidbits interesting, others less so. Wishing there was more depth on certain topics.

Took forever to read this one.

24 likes2 stack adds
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stretchkev
Multiple Choice | Alejandro Zambra
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I'm not entirely sure what this is... But I think I like it. A book of statements written in multiple choice format: sometimes profane, sometimes nonsensical, sometimes provoking, always interesting.

Liz_M Sounds fun! Where did you hear about this one? 4mo
stretchkev @Liz_M A book podcast I sometimes listen too called Books Unbound, they were recommending books with unusual formats, this one sounded interesting 4mo
plemmdog I really like Zambra‘s writing 4mo
stretchkev @plemmdog after this I am tempted to read some of his longer form stuff for sure 4mo
20 likes4 comments
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stretchkev
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This is a hella good opening!

BarbaraBB I just finished this and loved it! 5mo
22 likes1 comment
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stretchkev
Pickpick

No longer able to attend school a group of junior high kids are pulled into the world of a mysterious little girl and her magic castle. These children are brought together neglect, isolation, bullying. The anxiety from the main character's own bullying episodes is constantly palatable. But in the end she finds the confidence through friendship and knowing she's not alone in her feelings to find her way in the world.

Worthwhile read!

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stretchkev
Bullet Train | Kotaro Isaka
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Pickpick

Darkly humorous take on thriller. What happens when you lock a bunch of ki;let's for hirer and the unluckiest bag man on a train? Chaos, chaos happens.

It's a fun cast of characters with lots of banter, except for the teen psychopath, his perspective is kind of dull with typical musings. Takes a while for the chaotic energy to culminate into the kind of adrenaline pumping action of a thriller but really the ride itself is more interesting.

BookwormM I loved this one 5mo
stretchkev @BookwormM Really is a fun one. Wish there was more like it. 5mo
19 likes2 comments
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stretchkev
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Mehso-so

Sen. Josesph McCarthy was certainly a complicated individual, driven, hardworking, ambitious, constant liar.

This is a thoroughly well researched biography. But I get a bit tried with biographical material, it's repetitive and focuses too much on an individual missing some context of the larger movement.

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stretchkev
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Pickpick

I've always loved the idea of the great courses, just could never get I'm the right frame of mind (i.e. free of distractions) to get anything out of audio lectures.

The VSI collection with it's 600+ topics and perfect introductory format is perfect. Not do detailed your lost in the topic but not entirely simple either. Lots and lots to be learned over the years ahead!

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stretchkev
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Pickpick

Doesn't hold back even a little when getting into uncomfortable and awkward topics. A good place to start.

Great as a resource and for resources for future readings.

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stretchkev
Helium | Rudy Francisco
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Pickpick

A collection about love, heartbreak, discovery, race, racism, and anger. I don't read poetry. To love poetry you must love the language, I merely like the language. I don't know if these are artful, profound, or even good. I can't properly evaluate these poems. I am a poor judge of poetry. But I liked these poems, that read more like statements than poems. More like open thoughts than conclusions. A collection I could get behind.

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stretchkev
Real World | Natsuo Kirino
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Pickpick

A raw and real perspective of young women coming if age in a modern Japan, finding out who they are, and who they want to be. With all the pressures of family, school, social obligations, and covering for punk a murderer.

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stretchkev
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Mehso-so

Creative "non-fiction" for sure but kind of boring as a fiction haunted house story.

One of the classic horror stories that I was avoiding, but it's worth it to see the collection of modern ghost story tropes all in one place.

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stretchkev
A Luminous Republic | Andrs Barba
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Pickpick

What starts out as a matter of fact bureaucratic re-telling of a Cities killing of 32 feral children, turns into a commentary on power of music, law and justice, causes of violence, reality of childhood, the friendship of marriage, roots of language, society‘s views on poverty, what is reality, what is truth.

Not sure how exactly to summarize this exploration of one of our primordial fears: what's out there beyond our civilized constructions.

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stretchkev
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Mehso-so

Very interesting concept and great piece of wiring, anticlimactic ending!

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stretchkev
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Pickpick

Short, important, and a unique historical perspective.

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stretchkev
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stretchkev
Life on Mars: Poems | Tracy K. Smith
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Mehso-so

This just washed over me, not in an unpleasant way just not a particularly memorable way.

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stretchkev
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Pickpick

Not only is Laura Redniss's story telling unique and innovating, her artwork is simply stunning.

Weather has never had this kind of treatment.

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stretchkev
Year of the Rabbit | Tian Veasna
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Pickpick

The self-destructive nature of the Khmer Rogue is both horrific and captivating. Killing off a 25% of the population for the most trivial of reasons with no real idea or plan of how a population would adjust to an agrarian life is just flabbergasting.

21 likes1 stack add
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stretchkev
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Pickpick

Billed as autobiographical, I'm not entirely sure if it isn't embellishments render it fictional. But I wasn't interested in the history, I wanted what drove them? How they justified their actions with themselves, their peers, their families?

So much learned with this book. The brutal training to destroy sense of self. The constant propaganda to build the fighting spirit. 👇

stretchkev The conflicting feelings of fear and trepidation but the overhelming desire to preserve the honor of their country, their people, their Emperor, and their family. The pressures they felt were overhelming as they became more and more disillusioned with the war. To give up one's own life for abstract ideas like honor and glory, but when it's wrapped in all those external pressures is hard to fathom. 10mo
stretchkev @Milara It does not include that section, but I have looked up info on the historical discrepancies. I'm not entirely sure of the veracity of all the details, even if the debate of those details appears to be quite vigorous. I still come down on the side that the experience, feelings, and thoughts are true. And I'm okay with that, I wasn't looking for a history more an examination of the suicidal attacks from a personal perspective. 10mo
27 likes2 comments
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stretchkev
My Lovely Wife | Samantha Downing
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Panpan

This reads like a bookclub book. Every other chapter has a domestic social issue discussion point, i.e. adultery, troubled relationships with parents, mental health issues, middle age breakdowns. The actual aerial killer plot is just an excuse 4o get to these issues.

Leftcoastzen That sounds really annoying. 10mo
32 likes1 comment
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stretchkev
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How the religious culture of Japan that holds these two thoughts at the same time is so so interesting to me!

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stretchkev
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A beginning to understanding the fanticism of a Japanese soilder's mindset towards the end of WW2.

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stretchkev
Penance | Kanae Minato
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Pickpick

Excellent slow burn revenge story. Told in multi-pov confessional every action, every decision makes sense.

Minato does damaged characters so, so well!

MsMelissa I liked this one too. 10mo
stretchkev @MsMelissa Not as surprising as Confessions but I think it linger with me for some time 10mo
30 likes2 comments
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stretchkev
Blue Mars | Kim Stanley Robinson
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Panpan

Loved Red Mars, Liked Green Mars, activity meh about Blue Mars.

All the political machinations and the slow pace government formation made this a hard slog. But my biggest issue is that the first 100 never grow. They are the same at 30 as they are at 230. Still unable to communicate basic things over years and decades.

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stretchkev
Grass | Keum Suk Gendry-Kim
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Pickpick

Harrow account of the atrocities committed by the Japanese in in occupied Korea.

What these poor women went through was utterly unfathomable. Strong of character is the only way to describe them.

llcoolnate Sounds along the lines of Unit 731-ish. Heavy reads 10mo
stretchkev @llcoolnate Yeah it was a heavy read for sure, and the illstrates matched perfectly with the somber topics. Never heard of Unit 731, but just a quick search it sounds like another topic worth a deeper dive. 10mo
llcoolnate Went on a kick of that area and time. Unit 731, Rape of Nanking, Flowers of War, etc. Made me have to switch to fiction for a while. 10mo
stretchkev Yeah, real world atrocities are necessary to read but take it out of you. I got both Rape of Nanking and Flower of War on the TBR, but I think I'm going to pace those out for while much like after reading the Sea of Poison. 10mo
32 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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stretchkev
The Fire Next Time | James Baldwin
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Pickpick

Baldwin is such a powerful and forceful writer.

So little has changed!

Come-read-with-me This is a brilliant book. 11mo
34 likes1 comment
review
stretchkev
Tender Is the Flesh | Agustina Bazterrica
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Mehso-so

The setup of this short novel is nothing short of shocking and deporbable. It has something interesting to say but the second half fails deliver on the moral implications of the first half. I'm not sure it actually says much of anything. One of those books that could be much more interesting if there was a more heavy handed moral resolution.