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theokiereader

theokiereader

Joined December 2017

PR Specialist Turned Teacher/ Military Spouse Blog: www.southernersreadtoo.com Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/29678082-mary-wagner
review
theokiereader
Winterland: A Novel | Rae Meadows
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Pickpick

Full Review: https://southernersreadtoo.com/2022/11/14/the-cold-taste-of-victory/

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Winterland explores the brutality of competitive gymnastics against the backdrop of the USSR in the 1970s. Not everything that glitters is gold.

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theokiereader
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Panpan

Fantasy is one of my least favorite genres. This book felt like fantasy mixed with feminism and a sprinkle of historical fiction for good measure. I had a hard time following the specialized terms, and it made the book feel like a slow read. Plus, Robert and his roommate Freddie were some of the only likable characters in the book. The women were written to sound petty and insufferable. 🌟🌟.

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theokiereader
The Blackhouse: A Novel | Carole Johnstone
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Panpan

Full review at: https://southernersreadtoo.com/2022/10/31/high-tide-but-not-my-vibe/

The story moved rather slowly, and there was WAY too much build-up to both Robert and Maggie‘s backstories. The author kept including end-of-chapter cliffhangers, but she didn‘t give the reader any morsels of information that would help them guess what‘s next. It left me feeling frustrated and bored all at the same time. Rating: ⭐️⭐️

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theokiereader
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My #BOTM November 2022 Predictions are up! I'm hoping for Kevin Wilson's new book, and Aethestica sounds intreguing. Grab your tissues for A Quiet Place, but it is worth every one of the ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I gave it. Read the summaries here: https://southernersreadtoo.com/2022/10/16/book-of-the-month-predictions-november... #BOTM #BOTMpredictions #BOTMNov2022

Beachesnbooks Would love it if The Cloisters was a pick! I've had my eye on that one 1mo
18 likes1 comment
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theokiereader
A Quiet Life: A Novel | Ethan Joella
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Pickpick

Full Review: https://southernersreadtoo.com/2022/10/08/a-life-after-loss/

This was an easy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating.

Like A Simple Hope, Joellla beautifully describes the love, sweetness, longing, and deep ache of grief. Be prepared to feel tears prickle your eyes as you follow this beautiful novel.

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theokiereader
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Mehso-so

Full review: https://southernersreadtoo.com/2022/10/05/abusive-past-modern-murder/

Thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the chance to review this book.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2

This book adds depth to The Family Upstairs for fans of the book. However, I'm torn between whether I thought this sequel should be it's own book or whether it should have been a couple extra chapters added to The Family Upstairs.

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theokiereader
Killers of a Certain Age | Deanna Raybourn
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Pickpick

Full Review at: https://southernersreadtoo.com/2022/10/03/the-golden-girls-assassin-remix/

After decades of working together, the women of Project Sphinx, a group of elite all-female assassins who are in their early sixties, are ready to hang up the Colt .45s and retire. Then, they figure out their organization, The Museum has a hit on them. Grab your fiber supplements, because you won‘t want the action to stop in this quirky thriller!

ReadingOver50 Loved this one 2mo
15 likes1 comment
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theokiereader
Goodbye, Paris | Anstey Harris
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Pickpick

Full Review: https://southernersreadtoo.com/2022/09/30/let-the-music-sway-your-heart/

This book was magical, lyrical, and adorably sweet. You can‘t help but fall in love with the trio of Grace, angry teenager Nadia, and the eccentric, yet wise, Mr. Williams. If you have ever fallen in love with a stringed instrument, this book will whisper to you. I loved every second of it.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

JamieArc I really loved this one too. 2mo
14 likes1 comment
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theokiereader
Sign Here | Claudia Lux
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Book of the Month Selections are out! What are you going to choose? I picked Sign Here and Thistlefoot to get in the Halloween spirit!

See the run-down here: https://southernersreadtoo.com/2022/09/29/book-of-the-month-selections-october-2...

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theokiereader
The Golden Couple: A Novel | Sarah Pekkanen, Greer Hendricks
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Pickpick

Full review at https://southernersreadtoo.com/2022/09/26/therapist-thrillers/

I'm creating a new genre: Therapist Thrillers. If you don‘t read a lot of thrillers, this will be a great book that will entertain you. You might even give it five stars. But, if you are like me and read a ton of thrillers, I would call it a little predictable and lackluster. I still plowed through it and enjoyed the journey.

Not bad for a therapist thriller.

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theokiereader
Eye of the Needle | Ken Follett
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Full Review:
https://southernersreadtoo.com/2022/09/26/golden-oldie-catch-the-spy-to-save-the...

Catch the spy to save the war: I was weary when one of my book clubs chose this as a pick. It's old. It's mass-market fiction. And, it's historical military fiction, which is my least favorite genre.

I loved it. This is why we broaden our horizons, friends. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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theokiereader
Hester: A Novel | Laurie Lico Albanese
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Here are my guesses about what's coming to the blue box: https://marybeth1583.wixsite.com/southernersreadtoo/post/book-of-the-month-predi...

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theokiereader
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Pickpick

Full review: https://rb.gy/bonyjg

This book explores the concepts behind generational trauma through the eyes of one family line. While I personally don't believe in the concept of generational trauma, I thought this was a beautifully-written book. However, I did not like how the author chose not to complete the “real“ version of each story arc, instead allowing Dorothy's experiences to rewrite each tale. 3/5 stars

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theokiereader
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Mehso-so

This mystery is full of twists and turns that keep the reader guessing. However, the story was very complex due to the extensive character list-- I counted 37 total, and I believe I missed a few. Due to the complexity of the plot, it is not a book that you can pick up and skim-- it requires concentration. . Full review: https://marybeth1583.wixsite.com/southernersreadtoo/post/the-murder-mystery-with...

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theokiereader
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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ First, I LOVE the artwork of this book with the #GreatWave of #Kanagawa. I feel like I can envision Ichigo's graphics just look at the cover! I loved a story that addressed deep friendships, especially ones that didn't devolve into romantic endeavors. Sadie was a bit unlikeable, and I really wanted her to redeem herself by apologizing to Sam in the end. Nope-- we just have pretend that her feelings were totally rightful and valid.

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theokiereader
This Tender Land: A Novel | William Kent Krueger
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#MilLife Our last assignment was hard for my husband & I— so hard that I had TWO copies of “This Tender Land” and didn‘t notice until now. I keep my #botm in order on my bookshelf, so I don‘t know HOW that happened. 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️ Now that we‘re in Japan, I can catch up on my BOTM TBR AND pass on this extra copy to another #milspouse. It‘s hard to get books here because they take so long to get in the mail! #APOwoes

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theokiereader
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Panpan

Have you ever looked at a Goodreads score & thought, “How?“ I was obviously not the right audience for this book. It was predictable, & I grew increasingly frustrated w/ the ambiguity of what Klara was seeing in this future world. What exactly were “lifted“ kids-- just genetic selection? Is an oblong a phone or computer? I'm convinced the 4+ star rating has more to do with Ishiguro's reputation than the book itself.

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theokiereader
Girl A | Abigail Dean
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Pickpick

I wish the characters would have been fleshed out a little more. What was Ethan‘s role? To what extent did Mother participate. I enjoyed the book, but I wish there wasn‘t so much ambiguity. ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2.

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theokiereader
The Project | Courtney Summers
Mehso-so

I felt like I wanted more from this book. What were the backstories of each character? What was up with Casey? What was it about Lev that made Bea abandon Lo? It was a good premise, but the storyline fell flat for me.

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theokiereader
Girl A | Abigail Dean
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#preteenponderings My 12-year-old daughter made an interesting observation the other night. She asked, “Mom, why is the author‘s name always bigger than the title or the same size as the title on adult books?” I never really noticed that, but she‘s right. 🤯

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theokiereader
The Four Winds: A Novel | Kristin Hannah
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It's been a minute since I've been on here! Lots of life has happened, not the least of which is my family's impending move to JAPAN! I fit in 6 books this month, 4 of my own reading, and two for my children's homeschool. Do you agree or disagree with my ratings?

Midnight Library: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
The Four Winds: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The Kindest Lie: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Girls with Bright Futures: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

For the kids:
The Seventeenth Swap: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Plain Girl: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

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theokiereader
The Starless Sea | Erin Morgenstern
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My children get to watch The Nutcracker at the Kennedy Center, but I unfortunately didn‘t get a chaperone ticket for the field trip. So.... a couple hours of reading in THIS beautiful place!

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theokiereader
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#HomeschoolReads #NovemberReads My third grader is working on this one, but he should be done by the end of the week. I guess he got to show off his Paul Revere knowledge at Cub Scouts tonight. 😂 #homeschool #homeschoolmamas #sonlight

TheBookKeepers Cute! I homeschool one of my kiddos and we covered the American revolution and Paul revere last spring! There‘s some great children‘s books around that time period! 3y
6 likes1 comment
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theokiereader
The Skippack School | Marguerite De Angeli
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#HomeschoolReads #NovemberReads My 5th grader is currently plowing through this one. #homeschool #homeschoolmamas #sonlight

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theokiereader
Johnny Tremain | Esther Hoskins Forbes
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#HomeschoolReads Our #November #ReadAloud is Johnny Tremain. My kids are LOVING the insults, so I have to stop them from calling each other a “pig in a louse.“ 😂 #novemberreadaloud #homeschool #homeschoolmamas #sonlight

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theokiereader
The Gifted School | Bruce Holsinger
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Pickpick

This was a fun book. I'm not going to lie....I found myself feeling stressed like **I** had a portfolio to put together for my kids. I DEFINITELY saw these types of personalities when we lived in the Boston area.

lele1432 I have to finally get around to reading this one! So ironic that the whole college admissions scandal unfolded this year when this book was also published lol. 3y
10 likes1 comment
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theokiereader
The Gifted School | Bruce Holsinger
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I‘ve been gone a long time because, frankly, 2019 has sucked. Homeschooling is hard. My husband will leave next week for his 23rd business trip of the year. And, worst of all, I lost my father back in May, and my heart still aches for him every day. I‘m really behind in my Goodreads challenge for the year, but I‘m learning to love the reading time I get instead of lamenting the time I don‘t. My books will be here waiting. #litsyreturn

wanderinglynn 💜 I‘m sorry to hear you‘ve had a tough year. I hope it starts to lighten for you. And I empathize—I lost my father in 2010. If you ever need to talk, please reach out. 💜 3y
Daisey Sorry to hear it had been such a tough year, but sending positive thoughts. Savor the reading you get. 💕 3y
AmyG I‘m so sorry for your loss. Yeah, some years are brutal. May things ease up for you soon. And yes, cherish those times that you have to read. 3y
12 likes3 comments
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theokiereader
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My dad recently passed away, and this is my first Quiet Time after returning from his funeral. I brought home his personalized coffee mug and this book, which I gave to him when he was first diagnosed with Parkinson‘s Disease. The pain may be yelling, but I‘m trying to listen to the whisper of hope.

wanderinglynn I‘m so sorry for your loss. ❤️ {hugs} I know how hard it is to lose a parent. Sending you love, and hopeful & peaceful vibes. 3y
theokiereader @wanderinglynn Thank you very much. ❤️ 3y
4 likes2 comments
review
theokiereader
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Mehso-so

#unpopularopinion There was nothing that I particularly DISLIKED about this book, but reading it felt like #bibliodrudgery. I was fine for the first 50 pages or so, and then it began to feel like a burden. It took me so long to WANT to finish it that I am now four weeks behind in my Goodreads Challenge for the year. Maybe if it had been a tad shorter?

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theokiereader
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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For Mother‘s Day, my husband surprised me with a girl‘s weekend to the DC Food & Wine Festival and a hotel at the National Harbor. My friend had to leave early, so now I get to enjoy some reading while looking out onto the water. #relaxingSunday

TheLibrarian What a lovely surprise! 4y
Chrissyreadit Wow!!! I wish I stayed more on top of DC events. Your husband sounds like a great guy! 4y
theokiereader @TheLibrarian @Chrissyreadit He‘s pretty great! I don‘t stay on top of DC events, either. He does a much better job than me in that department. 4y
16 likes3 comments
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theokiereader
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I just discovered this book propped up in a manner that makes me think that my 7-year-old son was trying to read in the shower. I‘m going to consider that a parenting win. 🤣🤣 #raisingreaders #boysarereaderstoo #homeschooledkids

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theokiereader
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My daughter just used her own money to buy all 72 books in the horse series I loved when I was her age. Obviously, we have not been watching Marie Kondo #raisingreaders #homeschoolkids

PurpleyPumpkin Love Marie Kondo, but disagree about books. You can never have too many!📚 4y
10 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
theokiereader
Nine Perfect Strangers | Liane Moriarty
Pickpick

This was one of those books that entertained me all the way through, but it didn‘t capture me. Nine strangers suffering through personal crises book a health club resort run by a high-achieving Russian woman keen on using “unconventional” methods... what could possibly go wrong? ⭐️⭐️⭐️

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theokiereader
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Panpan

There is nothing worse than a book that peaks your interest all the way through, only to fall flat at the end. There were too many unanswered questions for my liking.

Chelsea.Poole Shoot 😐 I was going to read this. 4y
fleeting Oh. Glad I did not rush to get the hardcover 😕 4y
theokiereader @Chelsea.Poole @fleeting It was so disappointing because the premise was so intriguing. There‘s nothing I hate more than abrupt endings. It‘s okay to leave a few things hanging, but at least provide SOME resolution. 4y
16 likes3 comments
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theokiereader
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I‘m reading Severance right now, which also means that I‘m making my children wash their hands constantly and giving the side eye to any Christmas gift made in China. 😂😂 I have to remind myself that it‘s fiction. #germseverywhere

10 likes1 stack add
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theokiereader
On the Come Up | Angie Thomas
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What‘s this? @felinesandfiction might have found the FEBRUARY #botmspoilers along WITH the January! You‘re amazing! It‘ll be interesting to see if these end up being the February spoilers! Lots of people will be thrilled if On the Come Up is on the list. Excuse me while I run over to Goodreads and look up the other titles....

stuck.in.the.stacks I have no idea! It will definitely be interesting to see what happens! 4y
theokiereader @felinesandfiction What do you think is the deal with Watching You? Extra? 4y
ErikasMindfulShelf I would love On the Come Up!! 4y
stuck.in.the.stacks @marywag08 I think so. But I'm not certain. It comes out Decembee 26th so we'll see. 4y
18 likes4 comments
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theokiereader
Golden Child | Claire Adam
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#golden is the theme as the #botmspoilers are out!! A tough day in homeschool means I haven‘t gotten the chance to look through the descriptions yet. What are you going to choose? #botm

TheBookStacker The only one I seem drawn to is 4y
8little_paws YAAAAAAAAS thanks for posting! Time to research these.... 4y
The_Heeler_Booklife I‘m going with The Silent Patient and The Night Tiger. 4y
See All 9 Comments
8little_paws This is going to be a tough one. I want the night tiger, maid, and the two goldens. Gonna have to do a little more thinking on this. 4y
TheLibrarian The Silent Patient, The Night Tiger, and Golden State. 4y
theokiereader I think I may go with Maid. None of the choices excite me this month. 4y
BookwormAHN I'm going with The Night Tiger and possibly The Silent Patient. 4y
Reviewsbylola Maid is the only one I know of. I‘ve read it—it‘s fantastic. I‘m so happy for the author that it was chosen for January. 4y
theokiereader I ended up putting both Maid and The Silent Patient on hold at the library. I‘ll probably end up making Maid my BOTM 4y
24 likes1 stack add9 comments
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theokiereader
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#decisionsdecisions I need to go to bed early tonight. Do I finish the last part of my book, or do I play the role of responsible homeschool parent and catch up on my daughter‘s reading assignments? #😵🌸🌙 As an Okie, it also cracks me up how the author makes it sound like Pawhuska is a ghost town in the modern day, when in reality there‘s a steady migration of Pioneer Woman fangirls visiting on any given weekend.

RebL Ugh! As an Oklahoman (now living elsewhere), I‘m often irritated by literary descriptions of my home state. 4y
theokiereader Amen to that!! My husband is in the military. When we were stationed in Boston (living far out in the ‘burbs), people would ask me where I was from. When I said Oklahoma, their reply was generally a condescending version of, “Oh, it must be different here.” I‘d reply back with, “Yeah... y‘all are more rural. I‘m from Oklahoma City.” 😁😁 @RebL (edited) 4y
11 likes2 comments
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theokiereader
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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Mehso-so

“A Place for Us” was one of those books that felt like it took FOREVER to read. I‘m very conflicted— on one hand, there are some beautiful sentiments about family and forgiveness. On the other, I hated how the POV shifted constantly across time and characters. #unpopularopinion: I liked Part 4, but I wanted more closure. ⭐️⭐️1/2

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theokiereader
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“While you‘re sitting there, Mom...” My Aussie has learned that reading time is the best time to beg for a belly rub. #UnapologeticAussies #sweetboy #TooBigToBeALapDog #DoesntStopHimFromBEINGaLapDog

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theokiereader
An Anonymous Girl | Sarah Pekkanen, Greer Hendricks
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Thanks to @felinesandfiction and @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks for the December #botmspoilers !!

I burned out on thrillers late this summer, but I can‘t shy away from Greer Hendrick and Sarah Pekkanen‘s new book. This month, I put 4 of the 5 books on hold at all 6 of my library systems. 🎄🎄 What will you choose?🎄🎄

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theokiereader
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Pickpick

A lonely widow finds love and purpose by adopting a toddler abandoned in his bookstore...get ready to have an “allergy attack” after reading this one. 😢 I have a soft spot for characters of the “redempted grinch” variety, and this book did not disappoint.

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theokiereader
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We moved to assignment #5 over the summer, and I still wouldn‘t live life any other way. I‘m thankful for my wonderful husband on #veteransday. He may cause me to move every two years, but hey— I have LOTS of library cards that I can use with Overdrive/Libby!! #brightside #milspouseperks Now to catch up on my @LitsyBuddyRead book!

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theokiereader
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Pickpick

If books were food, Kevin Kwan‘s trilogy would be the little chocolate morsels that you can‘t stop inhaling. I have SO many books that I “should be” reading right now, but I put them aside because I *had* to find out what happened to all those Crazy Rich Asians. If you‘re looking for a light, snarky read that is part Robin Leach and part Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, this is the book for you.

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theokiereader
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Thanks to @felinesandfiction for finding the October #botmspoilers and @TheLibrarian for the beautiful graphic!

What is with ALL the suspense/thrillers lately at BOTM?! I love this genre, but I‘m getting a little worn out. Is it just me? I was hoping for a historical fiction this month, so I guess I‘ll go with “In the Hurricane‘s Eye.” I‘m looking forward to “Lies” and “Clockmaker‘s Daughter” once I‘ve detoxed from murder novels. What about you?

stuck.in.the.stacks Clockmaker's Daughter is historical fiction isn't it? 4y
theokiereader @felinesandfiction I believe it is, but it sounds like it‘s a historical murder mystery from the description. I may be wrong. I need a murder mystery palate cleanse after the last few months of BOTM! 4y
16 likes2 comments
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theokiereader
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We‘re in week 3 of living with our books in the middle of the floor. We moved them out of our bookcases so Lowe‘s could install our hardwood floors. Lowe‘s didn‘t strap down the product in the delivery truck, and all $10,000 in flooring spewed onto the highway. 😬 Anyone who is going through a home renovation needs to read the tagged Dave Barry book when/if you need a laugh. I‘d loan you mine, but it‘s somewhere in one of 3 book piles like this.

BarbaraTheBibliophage OMG that is awful! We are having our carpet replaced in three bedrooms, a hallway, and stairs. The supplier and installer LOST our carpet roll. How is that even possible? But your “mishap” is much worse. Wishing you luck and speedy resolutions! 💕 4y
11 likes1 comment
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theokiereader
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Unfortunately, my husband and I had to sacrifice listening to our favorite adult authors because we were on a tight schedule. However, it was worth it just to get the cutest author signature ever. #nationalbookfestival #♥️beekle

Lauren_reading Awww - that‘s such a good book 4y
Bookworm83 That picture is worth skipping all the adult authors...he looks so happy! 😍 4y
tpixie Your so looks like he is beaming happily! 😍 4y
AllenTStClair @marywag08 I lost the email with your address for #FeedAReader ! Can you reach out to me at allen.t.st.clair@gmail.com? 😬 4y
19 likes5 comments
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theokiereader
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My kids have gotten on my nerves so bad today that I made a mug cookie for myself and no one else out of spite. 😂😂 🍪🍪 “Sweet Little Lies” to go along with my #RevengeSweets...

DarcysMom 😂😂😂 4y
19 likes1 comment
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theokiereader
Ghosts | Raina Telgemeier
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“You mean we get to eat lunch in a BOOKSTORE?!?” 😍 #raisingreaders #busboysandpoetsdc #definitelymydaughter

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theokiereader
Cross Her Heart: A Novel | Sarah Pinborough
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Thanks to @felinesandfiction for posting September #botmspoilers! My summer of slow reading due to life circumstances continues. However, the thought of a new book by Sarah Pinborough is enticing! Even though it‘s not usually my cup of tea, #fashionvictims has me surprisingly intrigued. I‘m also a sucker for characters from Oklahoma since I‘m always a little home sick, so November Girls may get the nod #decisions. What are you going to choose?

TorieStorieS Ooo- this looks like it‘s going to be a tough choice!!!! 4y
14 likes1 comment