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review
suzisteffen
Mehso-so

Whew those early Poirot stories are r a c i s t as f. Ugh. The Parker Pyne ones are interesting, and I had quite forgotten him. The Marple one remains decent. Overall, meh.

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suzisteffen

Havin a mini Christie fest over here while the like 50:books I had plans to read sort of ... drift. 😂😂😂😳🕵🏻‍♂️🕵🏼‍♀️🏹🔪🧨🗡🚬⚰️🧪💉

11 likes1 stack add
review
suzisteffen
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Pickpick

I mean it‘s Miss Marple. Luckily most of these short stories don‘t show off the worst of Christie - the racism, xenophobia, homophobia, though a little of it creeps in now and then. But Miss Marple! I only wish there had been more of her and less of Poirot. I needed a little break, and these short stories served, as Christie might write, admirably.

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suzisteffen
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... It is a very favourite place, that. There by the jasmine hedge. That is where the milkman asked Annie if he could put up the banns.”
“Dash it all, Aunt Jane,” said Raymond, “ don‘t spoil all the romance. Joyce and I aren‘t like the milkman and Annie.”
“That is where you make a mistake, dear,” said Miss Marple. “Everybody is very much alike, really. But fortunately, perhaps, they don‘t realize it.”

😂😂😂

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suzisteffen
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“Hey.” The jowlboy leaned in, his vinegar mouth on the side of my cheek. “Don‘t you ever say nothin‘? Don‘t you speak English?” He grabbed my shoulder and spun me to face him. “Look at me when I‘m talking to you.”
He was only nine but had already mastered the dialect of damaged American fathers.

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suzisteffen
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HOLY SHIZZLE, I‘m one chapter in, and I‘m already fascinated as heck. DID YOU KNOW THE MALE PLATYPUS HAD A TON OF VENOM IN HIS ANKLE SPURS???? I did not! I love my #science books. 😍😮(🇦🇺 is very yikes, btw!)

suzisteffen @tpixie yay! I love her fiction too. 3mo
17 likes2 comments
review
suzisteffen
Pickpick

What a fascinating and enjoyable - and maddening! Why did so many scientists miss so many other scientists‘ work? How does the Nobel Prize work? Etc. - she addresses all of this and much more. - book. I listened to podcasts of author interviews as well, very useful. 4.5⭐️ #science #astrophysics #cosmology

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suzisteffen
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“When I refer to the shape of space, I mean not the local potholes in the otherwise taut fabric of space-time, but rather the overall shape of the universe on the largest scales, where it appears more or less homogenous.”

Often I have no real idea what this book is talking about, but it‘s fascinating and rulllll purty with its writing anyway. 😂 👀🌌🎆🌠👀 #astrophysics cosmology

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suzisteffen
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Also about to start this book (image from a Russell short story - Orange World, as a matter of fact- in the New Yorker). Can I finish it, Nickel Boys, and two nonfiction books before August 1? Well, that‘s the plan. 😂👀

14 likes1 stack add
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suzisteffen
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Just got the email that this came in at the library (well, into my phone as an ebook, anyway), so it‘s time to read it (and Libby tells me “11 people are waiting” - no pressure, Libs!!).

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suzisteffen
Bangkok Wakes to Rain | Pitchaya Sudbanthad
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Pickpick

My GOODNESS, I enjoyed this book, which is partly about the persistence of memory and partly about environmental disaster and partly about a wide sweep of history. I am going to give it 5 stars because even with occasional wild rivers of language - not that I object to that; I actually love it, even though this book is also very story-driven - it‘s a love letter to Bangkok, humans, irony, and beauty in the wreckage. Ahhh!

Cathythoughts Great review! I have it stacked already 3mo
suzisteffen @Cathythoughts Thanks! Hope you like it! I had to wait QUITE SOME TIME to get it as an ebook from the library, but it was worth the wait for sure. 3mo
16 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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suzisteffen
Bangkok Wakes to Rain | Pitchaya Sudbanthad
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Getting started! The first short story/chapter was fascinating and alarming.

18 likes1 stack add
review
suzisteffen
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
Pickpick

A nearly operatic début, if opera focuses on the intimacies of one family in one Shia Indian community in California - and I think it could. The personal connections, betrayals, memories, everything built from tenuous moments and the constant interrogation of what really happened and the layers of who did what, not to mention the various losses each person in the five-person family sustains - it's a good one, veering toward great.

22 likes1 stack add
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suzisteffen
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Nice to know everyone makes their mistakes: “Einstein‘s resistance [to the theory that the universe was expanding], however, had deep roots. New evidence demonstrates the extent of his reluctance to give up on the notion of a steady, nonevolving universe has recently come to light. Although he publicly accepted the idea of the expanding universe, a previously unknown manuscript, discovered among his papers in the archives of Hebrew University ...

suzisteffen ... in Jerusalem in 2013 suggests that he privately struggled to resurrect a static universe even after that fateful seminar at Mount Wilson to which Hubbell had invited him. In this manuscript, dated 1931, Einstein explores a model in which the mean density of the universe is held fixed by some process that continually generates matter from empty space. In this model, a static universe merely appears dynamic.” DUDE. REALLY? 3mo
11 likes1 comment
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suzisteffen
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Been trying to get ahold of this one for a while. Starting it on the bus to Portland for a Portland Thorns game. 🙂😍🌹⚽️ #audiobook #hoopladigital 🎧 #YA

review
suzisteffen
Symptoms of a Heartbreak | Sona Charaipotra
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Pickpick

For about half of the book, I wanted to smack the protagonist. What was she doing? Why was she making such terrible choices? I was frustrated with the author for letting her character screw up over and over again. Then I realized the author did such a great job of putting me in the world that I was treating the character like a real person, and I thought about how unreasonable it was to ask a 16-year-old to make perfect professional decisions...

suzisteffen and then, even though I didn‘t like a lot of the characters, including Best Friend Lizzie and the main character herself (WHAT a pain in the ass this kid would be), I decided I liked the book pretty well. 4⭐️ (edited) 3mo
suzisteffen 📷 by me, of some chalkboard in my town. 3mo
14 likes2 comments
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suzisteffen
Symptoms of a Heartbreak | Sona Charaipotra
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The latest #ownvoices YA book to land in my library inbox! Fingers crossed for this hyped and well supported work!

10 likes1 stack add
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suzisteffen
The New Yorkers | Cathleen Schine
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We sat down on the rubber floor, joining a group of young white women staring raptly at a petite holistic nutritionist, who advised us to engage in resistance training twice a week and to consider going vegetarian if grass-fed beef was outside our budget. “Eighty to ninety percent of what you eat should have a point,” she said. I pictured the sausage-egg-and cheese bagel sandwich I‘d eaten on the train to Boston. (cont)

suzisteffen It had a point, I thought. I was hungover before I ate it, and after I ate it I was not hungover anymore. 3mo
14 likes1 comment
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suzisteffen
The New Yorkers | Cathleen Schine
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I sure wish I could count all of the New Yorker magazine reading I do for Litsy. 😂 Anyway, this is from Jia Tolentino‘s March 18, 2019, article called “Athleisure Time,” mostly about the brand Outdoor Voices.

“‘Doing things is better than not doing things, I told my boyfriend, who was still in bed after a week of thirteen-hour workdays at an architecture firm. ‘You look like a mommy blogger dressed as the Easter Bunny,‘ he said.”

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suzisteffen
The New Yorkers | Cathleen Schine
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I sure wish I could count all of the New Yorker magazine reading I do for Litsy. 😂 Anyway, this is from Jia Tolentino‘s March 18, 2019, article called “Athleisure Time,” mostly about the brand Outdoor Voices.

“‘Doing things is better than not doing things, I told my boyfriend, who was still in bed after a week of thirteen-hour workdays at an architecture firm. ‘You look like a mommy blogger dressed as the Easter Bunny,‘ he said.”

review
suzisteffen
Pickpick

Fun read with Maud and Arland and a lot of Very Serious VAMPIRR WARRRR IN SPAAAAACE plots, with some aliens involved. Ends on a cliffhanger you just KNEW would come someday. I‘ll give it a 4⭐️ for being very much what it is, and for Helen. #fantasy

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suzisteffen
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Lest you all think I only read Extremely Serious Nonfiction ...😂

13 likes1 stack add
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suzisteffen
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Back on my #science bullshit after giving up even trying to listen while we were on our trip to 🇩🇪🇫🇷⚽️🏆. It‘s so good! Just listening to the portion about Kepler. #planets #astronomy

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suzisteffen
Rage Becomes Her | Soraya Chemaly
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Bought this in January at Eagle Harbor Books on Bainbridge Island, near Seattle, and I‘ve had it on my TBR plan ever since. It‘s appropriate as I am currently furious with a host of people and topics that boil down to racism, sexism, homophobia, and patriarchal control over women‘s bodies via fatphobia. Soooo yep. 🧐🤬

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suzisteffen
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Pickpick

I used pens, bought highlighters in Cologne, and had scraps of paper everywhere as I read this fascinating and rather depressing book. In short: There wasn‘t a lot of interracial activism, & many white women withdrew from the work they had been doing after Brown v. Topeka Board of Ed in 1954. 👀
I learned a lot about Septima Clark, Modjeska Simkins, & Alice Norwood Spearman, & I‘ll be tracking down more info. 4⭐️ to this dissertation turned book.

14 likes1 comment
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suzisteffen
Wedding Party | Jasmine Guillory
Pickpick

Still my least fave of the trilogy, but it got better and more real for a few chapters before veering back into “this seems highly unlikely” territory. I guess The Proposal will remains my fave, partly because of the friend group interactions and family relationships therein, but this one is totally acceptable, if it swerves around a semi-ridiculous plot more than I expected. 3.5⭐️ #romsntsy

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suzisteffen
Wedding Party | Jasmine Guillory
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“She watched him make the slowest coffee in all of California.
“‘I can‘t believe I slept with someone who boils water every damn morning to make their coffee.‘
“He looked up from boiling the water.
“‘Actually, it‘s not boiled; I heat the water to exactly two hundred five degrees in order to get the best—‘“

Theo is me. I really really get him. 😂☕️

Lauredhel I'm more confused by her - what is the more "usual" way of obtaining coffee in the morning in California? 3mo
suzisteffen @Lauredhel He‘s doing a pour-over; she has a Mr. Coffee or something at her place. Honestly I think it takes the same amount of time, but one process is more externalized and thus seems slower, or that‘s my theory anyway. 3mo
suzisteffen @Lauredhel PS 205 F = 96 C ☕️ 😋 3mo
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Lauredhel @suzisteffen sheesh there's nothing complicated about a pourover cone! 3mo
suzisteffen @Lauredhel right! I agree. But you know coffee culture in the US isn‘t quite like coffee culture in Australia. 😉 3mo
essayareayaitch As a non-coffee drinker, I feel her. However, as someone from the Bay Area, home of Philz, and Blue Bottle, I understood him 3mo
suzisteffen @essayareayaitch You know I had Blue Bottle‘s cold brew one time, in 2015, AND I STILL THINK ABOUT IT. So yeah. 3mo
15 likes7 comments
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suzisteffen
Wedding Party | Jasmine Guillory
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About 40 percent in, and so far it‘s my least fave of the trilogy, but that might be because I thought The Proposal was so strong. We‘ll see if I end up liking Maddie & Theo or if I‘m just rather done with str8 ppl romance at the moment. 😂 #romantsy

15 likes3 stack adds
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suzisteffen
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Well I got so frustrated with my slow French brain (while we were in France) that I decided to take another French class this summer, and then I decided to up my out-of-class French game with not just Duolingo but also Pimsleur. It‘s kind of basic right now, but that‘s fine. I can sit here saying “Voudriez-vous déjeuner avec moi à trois heures?” because summer. ???????? (cow is from a restaurant in Annecy)

9 likes1 stack add
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suzisteffen
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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And due at the library on the 24th ... this novel!

alisonrose My favorite of the year so far 💜 3mo
suzisteffen @alisonrose !!! no pressure, book 😂 3mo
alisonrose @suzisteffen 😬😬😬 3mo
18 likes3 comments
review
suzisteffen
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Pickpick

One hell of a book to read in conjunction with A Woman of No Importance (I super wonder how these two researchers got on, ahem). So much in here about everything from Britain‘s anti-Semitism at the beginning of the war (thinking Jewish refugees might be Vichy spies?!?!!!) to Charles de Gaulle‘s post-war anti-British mythmaking ... and a lot more. Masterful literary nonfiction touches, built on excellent archival research. 5⭐️. #history #WWII

TrishB The cover and the title of this book really put me off, but your review has really made me rethink! Stacked. 3mo
Crazeedi Sounds good 3mo
suzisteffen @TrishB yes “girls” WHY?!?! But the book itself is definitely solid, and as I said, read together with “A Woman of No Importance” (and Susan Elia MacNeal‘s Maggie Hope series, TBH) is super informative. I might‘ve overpraised in last night‘s review; let‘s say 4.5 stars. 😂 3mo
suzisteffen @Crazeedi I definitely liked it! 3mo
18 likes3 stack adds4 comments
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suzisteffen
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At our cookbook dinner last night, we picked this for next. Got my eye on some spicy bean and barley stew with green harissa! Mmmmm yes.

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suzisteffen
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1. Tagged
2. Crunchy! But whew it‘s been a while since I had Cheetos.
3. Sunset
4. 1/3 into CDs that mature in 6 months, 1/3 in a year, 1/3 in 18 months. #boringadultanswer
5. 🤔 Hunh. Maybe third?

#friyayintro @howjessreads

13 likes1 stack add
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suzisteffen
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Having a cookbook dinner based on Ottolenghi books with friends tonight! 😋😋😋

stephothebesto This is such an awesome idea! I checked that book out from the library, but didn't commit to any recipes. What did you make? (And/or what recipe did you like the best?) 3mo
suzisteffen @stephothebesto I bought the book when it came out, and we‘ve made probably at least 8 recipes from it, though compared to the price, library sounds like a good plan. 😂 3mo
suzisteffen @stephothebesto Oops, and last night we made cucumber salad and fennel salad; someone else made the soba noodles with mango and cilantro and something else. Another person made raspberry sour cream cupcakes with lemon curd/mascarpone icing from the book Sweet, by Ottolenghi and his pastry chef. 3mo
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suzisteffen @stephothebesto AND finally to my mind the fennel salad was the best thing but it was also SUPER FUSSY, so ... yeah. 3mo
stephothebesto Sounds like a delicious night! Fennel is so yummy in salad... You might like this recipe from River Cottage Veg: https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2013/05/arugula-fennel-and-green-lentil-sala... If I remember correctly, it's pretty straight forward if you have the ingredients. 3mo
suzisteffen @stephothebesto yes! Cool, will try. 3mo
16 likes6 comments
review
suzisteffen
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Pickpick

Sweet YA that gets at deep issues around parental torture and weight (yes, it‘s child abuse), the feelings of being a player and wanting to change that, Friend Squad goals, and much more. Nice coming of age tale that‘s s great companion to When Dimple Met Rishi! #youngadult #romance

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suzisteffen
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Pickpick

The time to do what‘s right is always now. Always. And in Flight Portfolio, we also see the many people - US State Department officials certainly among them - who make the opposite choice. Let‘s not be those people. Vale, Varian Fry, and Julie Orringer for writing a thinly fictionalized account of his time at the beginning of the war.

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suzisteffen
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Just starting this one, hope it‘s good. #WWII

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suzisteffen

Started this book during a jet-lagged early morning yesterday, but it's so full of dread that I don't know that I can continue. YIKES. I might have to read a plot summary, the way I did before I went to see the movie Us, in order to keep reading! YIKES.

Crazeedi I stopped reading a book this week that I was halfway through, I just couldn't go on, it was hurting my heart too much. So I get it 3mo
11 likes1 comment
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suzisteffen
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Pickpick

WOW, this book broke me a few times and made me ache for the protagonist, who blames herself for a terrible accident in the aftermath of which she also almost died. Written by a local-to-me author, the book is concerned with both what happens, plotwise, before, during, and after a canoeing trip, and more with grief, loss, shame, learning how to be an adult, needing attention and love and care, and a lot more. Beautifully written. 4.5⭐️ 🛶🏕💔

suzisteffen Couple more things - it's also about river rats, outdoors people, the demands that perfectionists make on the world. I think it falls down to a 3 or 3.5 when he tries to have the teen girls interact - it is, I think, both sexist and not aware of the dynamics of teen girls - but those parts are short, and the rest of it is intensely good about what's going on in Emma's head. 3mo
Crazeedi Excellent review!👏 3mo
14 likes2 comments
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suzisteffen
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Pickpick

Welllllll this was a fun read at the end of June - fun both for the F/F romance AND the sense of finding one‘s true work and valuing it - and best is the strong, clear message about women in science. 4.5⭐️ for a lovely fun read that has many layers and cuts to the heart of how the Victorian women of science did so much more than we now know.

11 likes1 stack add
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suzisteffen
Just South of Home | Karen Strong
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Pickpick

What a wonderful, heartbreaking, intense middle-grade story about the pain of history and the weight that Black communities and families bear of the lynchings and other violence done to them in the past. The story of young science-nerd Sarah, her younger brother Ellis, and their cousin Janie from the big city, and the summer when they disturb the site where the KKK burnt down a Black church in a small town in Georgia, it‘s got real power. 4.5⭐️

14 likes1 stack add
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suzisteffen
Perfect Match | Zoe May
Pickpick

Another ✈️📖. This is a quarter-life crisis novel disguised as an M/F romance, from the POV of the young woman involved, who can‘t find a good date while all of her friends couple up. It‘s a good look at the 💩 replies women get on dating sites, and also a look at how being either too picky or too interested in material goods can go wrong. Pleasant enough, and some truly amusing scenes at the medical copywriting workplace. 3.5, maybe 4 ⭐️.

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suzisteffen
Flinging It | G Benson
Mehso-so

Speed read on the plane from Germany to Oregon - F/F romance where one woman is trapped in a loveless, emotionally abusive marriage and the other is trying to figure out how to make her work goals come to life. I didn‘t like that it started with cheating and that the one woman never quite dealt with the recovery from abuse; it‘s a romance, so a HEA, but ... I just have so many questions. Also, the characters were both WOC, but only on the surface.

suzisteffen ... that is, they weren‘t REALLY WOC, but more like the author thought “I should make this woman Thai, and the other one Indian” without taking anything about culture, history, or the lived experience of racism into account. Sigh. 3mo
12 likes1 comment
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suzisteffen
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@Jennifer3 MORE?!?!! #summerbookswap love!!! Thank you *ever* so much! 😍🥰😍🥰😍🥰😍📚📚 #mysteries #mystery

Crazeedi Is this a good series? I've read a different series by author 3mo
suzisteffen @Crazeedi I haven't read them yet, but I've had them extremely recommended to me by mystery fans from the UK, so I'm excited to read them. 😀 3mo
KathyWheeler I‘ve read the Wire in the Blood series but didn‘t even know about this one. 3mo
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suzisteffen @KathyWheeler I believe this was an earlier one and is being made into a TV series? 3mo
KathyWheeler @suzisteffen The Lindsay Gordon one is earlier? Wire in the Blood was made into a really good tv series. I saw the show first and only found out later that it was based on some books. 3mo
suzisteffen @KathyWheeler I am saying this based on something someone else told me so I guess I could look it up, LOL. 3mo
KathyWheeler @suzisteffen 😄 I could too.😊 3mo
Crazeedi @KathyWheeler that's the one I've read, didn't know this one 3mo
17 likes8 comments
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suzisteffen
An American Marriage | Tayari Jones
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O M G @Jennifer3!!! I just got home from our trip to the Women's World Cup, and SO MUCH #summerbookswap LOVE!!!!! THANK YOU FOREVER!!!! @rather_be_reading 😍

Jennifer3 Please tell me you got two more books from Amazon!!! 3mo
suzisteffen @Jennifer3 YES I JUST GOT TO THAT BOX!! (A month is a big pile of mail 😂) THANK YOU! Wowzers!! 3mo
Jennifer3 Amazon has a delay and I was so mad!!! How was the trip? That championship game was amazing!!! 3mo
See All 7 Comments
Jennifer3 And a month of mail would take me two months to go through. 🤣🤣 (edited) 3mo
suzisteffen @Jennifer3 trip was great! We had a week in Paris before we went to Lyon for the semifinals, and then a few days in Annecy (near the Alps) before the final - everything was amazing! (OK, the heat wave was ... bad ... and so were the mosquitoes, but the soccer was pretty great, and so were the museums and all kinds of other fun.) Who knew Amaz-n had a delay? Not I! LOL.
3mo
Jennifer3 I am envious of your trip! That would have been perfect in my book- Paris, Lyon for soccer! Annecy I will check out to see if it should be on my France tour when I get there. 3mo
suzisteffen @Jennifer3 Annecy is great for lakes or skiing, or so I hear. It had a great performance art thing going on - check @annecyPaysages on Instagram - and was a big touristy place. Fun, expensive, beautiful. 3mo
26 likes7 comments
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suzisteffen
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Also just starting this one, more #WWII #history of women spies. (This is nonfiction; one wonders if The Alice Network is based on the same people?)

13 likes2 stack adds
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suzisteffen
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Starting this novel that my partner brought and wants me to read so we can give it to a friend who lives in Germany. In the background, part of the AirBnB in Annecy, France.

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suzisteffen
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Pickpick

Absolutely inspiring and devastating. We went to the Centre d‘Histoire de la Résistance et de la déportation in Lyon just after I started reading this book, which was only appropriate. Ended the book with tears and so many other emotions. There are always people ready to resist oppression; the key is to find each other and work together. 5 ⭐️ all the way. #history #WWII

Weaponxgirl Finding those people is also so uplifting. Knowing you aren‘t alone and can get more done. 4mo
11 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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suzisteffen
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Appropriate to read in Lyon, I suspect. #history #WWII

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suzisteffen
The Poppy War | R.F. Kuang
Pickpick

Whoops, I forgot that I‘d finished this one a few days ago - a terrifying read about both human and deity, knowing that one particularly gruesome portion is from history and the Japanese treatment of the wools of Nanking. It‘s like a grimdark book except based on history. Can‘t say I won‘t read the sequel but yikes. What started as a “poor orphan come to the magic school to make good” turned into something so different - a book of devastating war.

20 likes1 stack add