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TracyReadsBooks

TracyReadsBooks

Joined March 2017

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TracyReadsBooks
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#Two4Tuesday

1. Whatever grabs my attention or fits my mood is generally how I select my next book. Recommendations from friends and/or authors I like will also get priority.

2. Weekend mornings before the family is awake are my favorite days to read. It‘s just the best when it‘s quiet and I get me time with a book and some coffee.

@TheSpineView

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TracyReadsBooks
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Pickpick

Fascinating look at Chicago before the fire (1871) through the life of a woman whose family played an important role in the city‘s early history. It‘s all the more interesting because instead of focusing on the speculators, industrialists, & merchant kings who drove much of the city‘s growth, you see the roll women played in shaping society & the city. Keating‘s biography of this flawed but interesting woman is excellent.

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😂

Quite the test…

mcctrish Well that‘s a given 🤣🤣🤣 2d
24 likes1 comment
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TracyReadsBooks
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Excited to start the tagged book about a women who moved to Chicago in 1834, a year before it was incorporated as a city, & the role she & her family played in its subsequent development until her death in 1870, a year before the Great Chicago Fire. Equally interested in seeing how the city (any city really) changes over time. Picture below is Kinzie‘s house in the 1860s (it was destroyed in the fire) & what stands in its place today.

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TracyReadsBooks
The Terraformers | Annalee Newitz
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Newitz‘s latest defies easy description—this SF story about terraforming is a scientifically grounded, furiously optimistic exercise in Homo sapiens regarding themselves as merely one element, & not even the most important one, of the environment as they help a planet grow. Then there‘s the more imaginative aspects—sentient, amorous moose, sentient drones, archaic & modern humans, corporate nefariousness, & more. Head-scratching & entertaining.

31 likes1 stack add
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TracyReadsBooks
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Mehso-so

I did not love it. In fact, the more I think about, the more I‘m not even sure I liked it. The premise is fantastic, the execution poor, especially after the first third of the book. The story is riddled with cliches & structurally complicated in ways it doesn‘t need to be, there is no character development, & the friendship that is supposed to be at the center of everything is really dysfunctional. Ambitious but it didn‘t really work for me.👇

TracyReadsBooks I‘ll give it a so-so because I did enjoy the first third of the book… 4d
ImperfectCJ I really appreciate this review! I think I didn't dislike it as much as you did, but I agree with all of your points. When it's good, it's quite good, but when it's not good it's...not good. 4d
38 likes2 comments
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TracyReadsBooks
The Terraformers | Annalee Newitz
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Some mornings you wake up and the temperature is 1 degree, feels like -16 and the thought of having to go outside is not an exciting one.🥶 And then you remember there‘s no school and you don‘t have to go outside! 😀 So it‘s coffee and the tagged book—with its super cool cover—to start the morning!

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TracyReadsBooks
Tread of Angels | Rebecca Roanhorse
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The easiest way to describe this novella is “murder mystery in an Old West town populated by descendants of angels & demons.” Roanhorse‘s world building is excellent as always & while the mystery itself is straight forward, the story resonates with thoughts about loyalty, family, perception, right/wrong, & how far we‘ll go to protect someone we love. This world begs for more stories & Roanhorse says she may return to it in the future. Yes please!

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System Collapse | Martha Wells
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Tor.com just revealed the cover for the next Murderbot book which is another full-length novel. Can‘t wait!!! Out 11/14/23.

Soubhiville Yay! 5d
22 likes1 comment
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TracyReadsBooks
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Have I resisted reading this in part because I really don‘t like the cover? 😬 Yes… Do I now find myself reading it because half the members of my IRL book club are reading it and we decided to discuss it at our next meeting in addition to the already planned book? Again yes. Fortunately, I‘ve only seen really positive things about it so I have high hopes for the story.

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TracyReadsBooks
The Bone Ships | RJ Barker
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A wildly imaginative, wholly original, vicious, fascinating world—pirates, Moby Dick except the whale is a sea dragon, nautical thriller, duty, honor, loyalty, endless danger, weakness a death sentence & betrayal a fact of life, where a ship crewed by condemned men & women may change everything, where a bird-like creature‘s power is the difference between life & death…& yes, the story is as awesome as all that suggests. Unusual & most excellent.

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TracyReadsBooks
Nettle & Bone | T. Kingfisher
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January was an unusually good reading month for me—45 books total, seven of which were ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ reads. Tagged book was my absolute favorite and one I definitely expect to see on my end of the year “best of” list. Honorable mentions for True Grit by Charles Portis, Maria Dahvana Headley‘s translation of Beowulf, Robert Kolker‘s Hidden Valley Road, Verspertine by Margaret Rogerson and Little Thieves by Margaret Owen. Now on to February!

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The Terraformers | Annalee Newitz
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New Annalee Newitz book!!! And it is blurbed by some heavy hitters—N. K. Jemisin, S. A. Corey, John Scalzi, Martha Wells and Kim Stanley Robinson to name a few. I expect this will be another fantastic read, a plausible, maybe even hopeful future, inspired by our world and the technology of today. Can‘t wait to find out!

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Pickpick

Every bit as delightful as you might expect. Fantasy doesn‘t have to be all blood and cuts, danger and adventure, mysterious rings and evil overlords. It can be about stepping away from the battlefield and choosing to do something different with your life, found family, friendship, delicious coffee and flaky pastries…with a side of danger, a protection racket, and the unknown of what might come next. Loved it.

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#Two4Tuesday

1. Favorite book of January was Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher.

2. As for why…no particular reason except that I found it on sale for a ridiculously good price and couldn‘t resist picking it up. And then I started skimming the first page and I was hooked.

@TheSpineView

TheSpineView Love good sales! Thanks for playing 7d
19 likes1 comment
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The Bone Ships | RJ Barker
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A story about ships built from the bones of ancient dragons? Yes please!

(There‘s more to the story, of course, but ships built from the bones of dragons is definitely what caught my attention…)

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TracyReadsBooks
Homeland Elegies | Ayad Akhtar
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Once I started reading, I could not put this book down—a searing, brutally honest examination of life in 21st c. America. Deeply personal, often funny, occasionally heartbreaking, this sharply observed book delves into academia, art, race, religion, money/finance, identity, politics, family, & being a Muslim in America. A mix of fiction, autobiography, & social history, this masterful book will stay with me & I‘ll definitely read more by Akhtar.

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TracyReadsBooks
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Chores with a side of coffee and a new book this afternoon. I‘ve only seen good things about this one and am excited to dive in.

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Castle Hangnail | Ursula Vernon
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When the minions of Castle Hangnail send out letters looking for a new wicked witch to rule over the castle, Molly answers. She‘s young, not very tall, & not nearly as wicked as some previous castle lords BUT she does possess some magic that gives the minions hope all their problems are solved. They aren‘t, of course, & Molly has secrets which may threaten everyone‘s future. I enjoyed this spooky middle grade story filled with magic & whimsy.

Texreader It looks adorable 1w
26 likes1 comment
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The Bird King | G. Willow Wilson
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A fantastic story set in the last days of Sultan Abu Abdullah‘s reign in Granada, the arrival of the Inquisition & what that means for Fatima, one of the sultan‘s concubines, & her best friend Hassan, a cartographer whose ability to map places he‘s never seen & bend reality with his pen is inevitably viewed as sorcery by the Inquisition thus forcing them to flee. A story filled with wonder, courage, love, & risking everything for freedom.

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Homeland Elegies | Ayad Akhtar
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Saturday morning reading while the family is in bed…

❤️📖☕️

Jensol77 Looks interesting. I just put it on hold! 1w
23 likes1 comment
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The Me You Love in the Dark is on the preliminary ballot for the 2022 Bram Stoker Awards so of course I have to give it a shout out. Only 5 issues, & available in a trade volume, this comic about an artist trying to find herself & rediscover her art, a brooding house, & a ghost is a gem. A little horror, a little romance, & a whole lot of drama—not to mention Skottie‘s words/Jorge‘s art—make this a fabulous read. Highly recommended.

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TracyReadsBooks
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I first posted about this book (won in a Goodreads giveaway) 4 months ago. 😬 It‘s taken a while to finish this excellent, exhaustive history of underground comix, focusing on the 60s & 70s, & their influence on mainstream comics, the rise of graphic novels, & popular culture generally. This scholarly, occasionally dense, book is a must read for anyone interested in comix/comics & the careers of Art Spiegelman, Robert Crumb, Trina Robbins & more.

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Castle Hangnail | Ursula Vernon
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We‘re expecting snow the next couple of days—not a lot but enough to put me in the mood for a Vernon story (geared towards middle grade) about the minions of Castle Hangnail as they look for a new boss. So far it‘s very entertaining and the illustrations scattered throughout are a definite bonus.

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I enjoyed, for the most part, this story about a women learning, at long last, what led to the break between her mom & favorite uncle. When her uncle dies, Miranda goes home for the funeral & learns her uncle left her his bookstore & clues to the truth of what really happened years ago. The plot is good, albeit predictable, characters okay but I think the writing, let‘s both down. Good but not great. Still, a low pick in the end.

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The Bird King | G. Willow Wilson
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Now reading…

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Saga | Brian K. Vaughan
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AAAAAAAAAAHHH!

You THINK you know where the story is going after you see the first page & then you turn it and nope, that‘s not where the story is going...it‘s going elsewhere & that‘s okay because of course it‘s good. And THEN…

AAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!

I…

Deep breath…

If you are a fan of Saga, buckle up. This one does not disappoint.

Great writing &, as always, stunning art from BKV & Fiona Staples. So good. Okay, stopping the fangirling now…

ju.ca.no Love Saga but 💔💔💔 (edited) 2w
30 likes1 comment
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Saga | Brian K. Vaughan
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#NCBD!!!

It‘s all about Saga #61 today. I saw a sneak peak of the first page last week…and it made me cry. 😭 I‘ve recovered…I think…and I‘m ready to go back in. Can‘t wait to see where Vaughan & Staples take the story next…

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Pickpick

Digger-of-unnecessarily-convoluted-tunnels, Digger for short, is doing what wombats usually do when she tunnels into a strange world & is thrust into an adventure where there are gods & demons, hyenas & trolls, vampire vegetables, talking slugs & more. Digger, guided by kindness & a deep commitment to doing the right thing, is a fantastic character & navigates this story of destiny, history, & redemption with humor & pragmatism. Loved it.

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Starting this one today…don‘t know if I‘ll finish all 789 pages of it today but we‘ll see!

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#Two4Tuesday

1. Snow—watching it fall & blanket the city while I‘m inside with a book & pot of tea is definitely my favorite thing about winter. That and the near daily excuse to bundle up in a favorite sweater.

2. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

@TheSpineView

TheSpineView Love the snow! Thanks for playing 💙❄️ 2w
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Little Thieves | Margaret Owen
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Wow. What a ride. It was not entirely what I expected & definitely more than I was expecting, so full of twists & turns & angst (loads of teen angst, this one isn‘t for the faint hearted) that it keeps you turning pages…relentlessly, furiously. Fascinating world, intriguing magic system, one of the most excellent, non-toxic male leads you could ever hope for, the importance of agency & consent woven into the story. I enjoyed this YA fantasy a lot.

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TracyReadsBooks
Little Thieves | Margaret Owen
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😂📖✨

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TracyReadsBooks
Little Thieves | Margaret Owen
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Next…

Cool cover, right? Hopefully the story is equally good.

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The Enchanter Heir | Cinda Williams Chima
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Chima introduces two new characters in this penultimate book in her Heir Chronicles series about a magical world coexisting alongside our own, more mundane world. These characters, one who can kill by touching you & another who knows nothing about who she really is, are pulled into a dangerous battle between different factions who want to know what really happened at a massacre years earlier. A little long but an interesting world & a good story.

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Rule of Wolves | Leigh Bardugo
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It‘s always a pleasure to spend time in the Greishaverse with these characters so yeah, this was another fun read with all the expected (and hoped for, of course) elements—Nikolai doing everything he can to save the day, Nina working under extremely dangerous conditions to aid his cause, Zoya grappling with just how far she‘ll have to go to use her own powers. And then that ending…Needless to say, I enjoyed it.

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Read Nettle & Bone and loved it. Then read Swordheart and loved it…and then I decided to start working my way through T. Kingfisher/Vernon‘s backlist. First up, these two—Vernon‘s award winning webcomic, new edition published with a forward by Patrick Rothfuss, and an absolutely delightful sounding middle grade story. The only question is which do I read first?!?

elkeOriginal Digger sounds delightful! 2w
GondorGirl I picked up Digger during its kickstarter. I wasn't expecting it to be as chonky as it is! 2w
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Aurora: A Novel | David Koepp
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Lots of people behaving badly as you might expect after a solar storm wipes out electricity across the globe but that‘s not the focus of the story which is really about a neighborhood that comes together not only to survive but even thrive as best they can & the family that has a chance at healing an old wound. You can tell it‘s written by a screenwriter, some scenes/relationships written with more of a film pace. Still, an entertaining read.

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Aurora: A Novel | David Koepp
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Starting this one tonight—it‘s about a solar storm that knocks out power across the world and what happens after. Certainly is an interesting premise.

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Small Favors | Erin A. Craig
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Like the best fairy tales, this story was deliciously dark as it exposed the darkness that can be found in anyone under the right, or better, worst circumstances. An isolated village, an impenetrable forest, mysterious creatures, missing villagers, neighbors, & strangers are all in play in this YA fairy tale retelling that felt a little long but which nevertheless kept me turning the pages. It‘s eerie, dark, romantic, & an entertaining read.

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Rule of Wolves | Leigh Bardugo
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This book has sat on my shelves far too long…long enough that my daughter is deeply disappointed in me and more than a little frustrated we haven‘t been able to talk about it yet. 😬😂 That gets remedied today! So far it‘s every bit as good as I expected. Bardugo never disappoints.

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Beowulf | Anonymous
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Loved this translation of Beowulf, one that has been on my radar for ages but which I‘ve only just now read. I don‘t know if fierce, modern, & accessible are words often used to describe this 1,000 (ish) year old epic but in Headley‘s hands, it is. She brings a writers eye to the epic & in approaching as a “bro” moment, a moment of braggadocio spoken in a public arena (think bar), she is definitely onto something. Great introduction, great read.

SamAnne Loved loved loved this translation! So much fun, and seemed so true to the spirit of the tale. And I really loved her introduction. This is one I will revisit. 3w
batsy Great review! I have this translation on my TBR. 3w
Dragon Pretty sure I was Team Grendel when I read this at school 🤣💚🐉 3w
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Small Favors | Erin A. Craig
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Fortunately, after repeating pages 117-148 the story picked up exactly where it was supposed to on page 149. 😅

I sometimes…okay, often…wonder how such big mistakes go unnoticed by the printer/publisher.🤷‍♀️

More amusing than annoying though so it‘s all good! I just have a book with extra personality!

wanderinglynn That‘s a big oops! I‘m glad it‘s not missing any pages. 3w
ravenlee I guess it‘s better to have extras than missing sections. I once had a required read for a college class that was missing something like 70 pages and had to get a replacement in a hurry but was still behind for the class! 3w
TracyReadsBooks @ravenlee The situation you describe definitely would have been annoying instead of entertaining! 😠 3w
ravenlee Come to think of it, I had a copy of Robinson Crusoe, one of those old Wordsworth Classics or such, that had a weird set of pages. They were numbered correctly, but the text went something like page 132, then 134, 135, then 133. It was also microscopic print and I was about ready to chuck the whole thing. I only stuck it out because I knew I‘d never give it another go and couldn‘t bear the thought of having wasted all that time. 3w
30 likes4 comments
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Small Favors | Erin A. Craig
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Started this one last night and enjoying it so far.

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Mysteries of Thorn Manor | Margaret Rogerson
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Love this world and these characters and this novella—filled with misbehaving grimoires, angry magical wards, a brooding Silas, and the looming Midwinter Ball—offers a welcome return and delightful story. A short but fantastic read.

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The Raven's Revenge | Kevin Sands
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I loved it, I loved it, I loved it. I‘m so bummed the series is over but also exhilarated because the ending was as perfect as the very first chapter in the first book of the series. This book, like the entire series, zipped along with nonstop adventure, danger, & mystery. Filled with riddles, puzzles, & ciphers, alchemy & Templars, kings & paupers, the story of Christopher Rowe & his friends is exemplary MG historical fiction. Highly recommended.

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The Raven's Revenge | Kevin Sands
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The sixth & final book in The Blackthorn Key series is out today so it HAS to be my bedtime reading. Sorry to see this superb MG historical fiction series about Christopher Rowe, an apothecary‘s apprentice in 17th c. London, come to an end but I am very excited to learn the identity of the Raven, to find out the who, what, why of it all. On a side note, I‘ll add Sands writes masterful first chapters—his openings pull you write in & do not let up.

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Mysteries of Thorn Manor | Margaret Rogerson
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Yay for Tuesday and the arrival of a Sorcery of Thorns novella on my doorstep! The tagged book exists, according to the author‘s note, because fans repeated requests for an extended epilogue inspired her to write it. Thank you fans! Definitely excited to return to this world and to spend more time with these characters.

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True Grit | Charles Portis
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Well, this is a phenomenal book & all I can say is better late then never. I have no idea why it took me so long to read this master class in character, dialog, & sense of place. It is impossible to read the first paragraph & not fall in love with Mattie Ross, to not want to journey with her as she sets off to avenge her father‘s murder, & to not marvel at this wonder of a book. I expect this will become a regular reread for me. I loved it.

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#Two4Tuesday

1. Somewhere warm is never the wrong answer BUT I love the idea of taking a train thru the mountains OR sitting in a ski lodge with a mug of hot chocolate & a big fat book while the family is off skiing or otherwise occupied. Something about the snow, cold, & scenery outside, me & a book warm inside.

2. Mysteries & dark fairy tales & then whatever else I‘m in the mood for—almost always a last minute decision.

@TheSpineView

TheSpineView A roaring fire and a book would be awesome. Thanks for playing! 3w
21 likes1 comment