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What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky
What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky: Stories | Lesley Nneka Arimah
148 posts | 96 read | 4 reading | 227 to read
A dazzlingly accomplished debut collection explores the ties that bind mothers and daughters and men and women to one another and to the places they call home. Lesley Arimah emigrated from Nigeria to Louisiana at the age of thirteen, a disorienting transition that left her keenly attuned to the shock waves set in motion by displacement. In these twelve powerful stories that embrace magical-realist elements while deploying a powerfully empathetic understanding of character and circumstance, she explores how parents and children, husbands and wives, lovers and friends, navigate conflicting cultures and struggle to reconcile conflicting desires, wants, and needs. In The Future Looks Good, three generations of women are haunted by the ghosts of war. In Second Chances, a daughter greets her mother's return from the dead with disbelief and anger. Wild revolves around a teenager on a visit back to Nigeria and the tenuous sisterhood she and her cousin attain after a disastrous night out shifts them onto uneasy new ground. A woman desperate for a child weaves one out of hair, with unsettling results, in Who Will Greet You at Home. In Light, a father grapplesmovingly and humorouslywith how best to raise, protect, and empower his young daughter. And in the title story, a world ravaged by flood, filled with refugees, and carved by class, a formula has been discovered that allows experts to fix the equation of a personwith rippling, unforeseen repercussions. Evocative, playful, defiant, and incredibly human, What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky heralds the arrival of a prodigious talent with a remarkable career ahead of her. From the Hardcover edition.
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Tianarose
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Had this one on hold for a while. Loving it so far.

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GatheringBooks
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Pickpick

#RedRoseSeptember Day 21: Fats did a round up of women writers from #AllAroundTheWorld, specifically from the US, Nigeria, Switzerland, and Argentina through these five amazing novels for our #WomenReadWomen2019 theme. See more here: https://wp.me/pDlzr-jME

arlenefinnigan Excellent picture! 3mo
Cinfhen I think I want to read them ALL 3mo
63 likes2 comments
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Caterina
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#BookFitnessChallenge #BFC @wanderinglynn : morning run/walk, then weight machine workout, then stretch class! Feeling better from that headache at last! 😊

Got my stitches out!! 🎉🎉 Don't have to go back until July!

Listened to this short story with my mom on the way back from the appointment and shopping while we were in the city. The book was one of my favorite reads of 2017, wonderful to revisit the title story. ❤️

RachelO I loved this book too. Hope you heal up nice and quickly now. 6mo
BookwormAHN Sounds like a nice day 👏🏻 6mo
wanderinglynn Way to go! 🙌🏻 So glad you‘re healing well. 💚 6mo
29 likes3 comments
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aeeklund
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Pickpick

This short story collection is masterful, having a LOT to say about women today. It captures the tolls that “growing up” takes on a girl, that war bleeds from a person, and that a small decision or mistake can have on a life. And it does all this in absolutely gorgeous language. The audiobook, especially, is amazing, the stories perfectly navigated by Adjoa Andoh. LOVED it.

LiteraryinLititz Great review! 7mo
31 likes1 stack add1 comment
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ILoveReading28
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TrishB 😢 8mo
ILoveReading28 @TrishB I know this quote was so heart breaking. 8mo
TrishB I make it my duty to make sure my daughter‘s fire never goes out! Well of correction....sounds like something from 1984..... 8mo
ILoveReading28 @TrishB You‘re right definitely right there are 1984 vibes in this quote. 8mo
13 likes4 comments
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ILoveReading28
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Afternoon reading ☁️

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ephemeralwaltz
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Pickpick

• What It Means when a Man Falls from the Sky (2017 by Lesley Nneka Arimah

What a powerful debut collection! I'm not one for stories but collections like this make me yearn for more. Arimah explores, halfway between America and Nigeria, the lives of vivid characters, mostly women, trying to make sense of the challenging world around them and, more importantly, make way. She even throws in a fable style story and some dystopia for good measure.

ephemeralwaltz (Photo taken from NPR website) 10mo
Trashcanman 👀👋 10mo
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Eyelit Yes! I‘m halfway through (got sidetracked by some graphic novels due back at the library 😂) and loving it so far! 10mo
Weaponxgirl This sounds awesome 👏 10mo
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Eyelit
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This weekend was jam packed with housecleaning, taxes, and volunteering. These are my well deserved (imho) evening plans. 😁

C.Perone I agree - well deserved!! Enjoy😊 10mo
BibliOphelia 😳😳 Does that candle say............ Sunnydale Library?!?! 😍😍😍 10mo
Eyelit @BibliOphelia indeed it does. It‘s from this Etsy store that specializes in geeky candles (bubbles and geek is the name, I think) 10mo
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BibliOphelia Must explore...thanks! 10mo
ephemeralwaltz Looks good! 10mo
monalyisha #buffyforever 😉🖤⚰️ 10mo
110 likes1 stack add6 comments
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Jadams1776
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Pickpick

This is a unique collection of stories with very relatable characters. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

ephemeralwaltz I just started this one! I'm not one for short stories but these are magical.. 10mo
Jadams1776 @ephemeralwaltz I loved them! I‘ve been trying to read more short stories lately because they‘re quick reads. 10mo
39 likes2 comments
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Eyelit
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It‘s been a while since I‘ve done a monthly #tbr - but in an effort to make a serious dent in my #mttbr pile (and end my book buying ban sooner rather than later 😄) I‘m going to try to set aside a stack of books from my shelves each month going forward - and try to read at least 1/2 of that stack before touching library books... we‘ll see how that goes 🤣

Here‘s the February stack. Most excited about Pride and tagged book.

Julsmarshall Loved Pride! 10mo
ephemeralwaltz Currently reading What it means when a man falls from the sky! Let me know your thoughts. I'll tag you in mine. 10mo
Eyelit @ephemeralwaltz deal! 😃 10mo
102 likes3 comments
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Angitron
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Pickpick

A solid collection of short stories, many of them focused on familial relationships. The title story was one of my favorites, simply for the fascinating/terrifying future presented (US and Europe are completely underwater, forcing white majorities to resettle in brown/black countries; a biological weapon that targets melanin; tattoos that denote class and restrict or expand where you travel), and I hope she develops them into a full-length story!

hermyknee Great review! 10mo
Angitron @hermyknee Thank you! 😊 10mo
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LitDrivenGirl
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Stack reveal for @24in48!! Remember it's important to read in all formats always, but especially during the Readathon because your eyes and mind need the break. So this is my physical stack, but I will be reading digitally as well and of course changing it up with audiobooks too 😊. Sounds like this time around (my third go) I may even be doing some reading aloud with Mum. Anyone else participating in the #24IN48Readathon?!?

Shibbyfruitfly Me! 😁 I‘ll post my official stack tonight since I got 2 book boxes in the mail today. And since Bird Box is one of the audiobooks, our stacks have 2 books in common! 10mo
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85eliana
Pickpick

If you‘re up for an excellent series of intense stories with hues of Afro-futurism, fantasy, and sci-if, this collection is for you!

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cocomass
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Pickpick

Just finished this collection of stories and LOVED it. Favorites include the titular story as well as “War Stories,” “Who Will Greet You at Home,” and “Glory”. It‘s tough in that so-much-of-girlhood-is-about-suffering way, but it‘s also (darkly) funny. So glad I read this and am looking forward to her next work!!

#blacklitsy

Megabooks Oh yeah, it is so good! 💜 14mo
readordierachel I loved this one too! 14mo
cocomass @megabooks @readordierachel and it‘s only her first book! That‘s always so exciting to me 🤗 14mo
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krismlars
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Pickpick

Flashback to last Saturday at the Boston Book Festival. I read this book in its entirety on a flight last year. I was honored to meet Lesley!

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Liberty
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Day 6 of the @bookriot #Riotgrams challenge: naked covers! A few pretties! (The book on the left is Anthony Bourdain‘s book about Typhoid Mary.)❤️📚

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Liberty
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Day 5 of the @bookriot #Riotgrams challenge: fall reads! I went with “falls” reads. Also, I‘m willing to bet these two titles aren‘t photographed together very often. 😂❤️📚

Gezemice Gravity Falls has a comic? Awesome! 1y
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whatrebeccasread
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Panpan

I didn't enjoy this collection of short stories. Each story felt unfinished & underwhelming & I found that I couldn't connect with anything I was reading. Like joining a conversation somewhere in the middle where you're not 100% what's going on, these stories seemed more like snippets from a wider story. I didn't hate it, some stories were good, so it's 2 stars from me.

My full review is up on my blog now! 📚

Reviewsbylola I almost always feel that way about short stories. 😐 1y
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Ansia
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ladyneverwhere
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Pickpick

Perfect beach day. Perfect book of short stories.

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Ansia
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Short-story gold.

"'When Enebeli Okwara sent his girl out in the world, he did not know what the world did to daughters'. The daughters, wives and mothers in Lesley Nneka Arimah's remarkable debut collection find themselves in extraordinary situations. What unites them is the toughness of the world they inhabit, a world where the future is uncertain, opportunities are scant, and fortunes change quicker than the flick of a switch."

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alisonrose
Pickpick

Such an inventive & original story collection, I‘m glad I gave it a try! Love how the author varies between realistic & semi-fantastical, and her voice comes through just as well in either case. My favorite stories were Wild and Second Chances. As is almost always the case w/short stories, one or two were not quite as strong, but none that I would call misses. I hope she writes a novel one day because I‘d love to see what she‘d do with it. 4/5 ⭐️

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alisonrose
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40 likes1 stack add
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alisonrose

When Enebeli Okwara sent his girl out in the world, he did not know what the world did to daughters. He did not know how quickly it would wick the dew off her, how she would be returned to him hollowed out, relieved of her better parts.

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alisonrose

My mother was a small woman who carried her weight in her personality.

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alisonrose
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I‘m not a big short story reader, usually because I hate when the stories are of wildly varying lengths. (Also when a “story” is like 3 pages. No.) But these look reasonably close enough for the most part, LOL. Plus I‘ve heard nothing but good things about it! #nowreading

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lauren.lerner
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This is the first time the girl becomes aware that the world requires something other than what she is. It dampens her for a few days that worry Enebeli, and then she returns, but there is a little less light to her.

readordierachel A striking passage in a wonderful book 👍🏼 1y
33 likes1 comment
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lauren.lerner
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Today‘s afternoon reads with a cup of tea made possible by baby Motrin (#teething) and naptime. • #shortfiction #diversereads #currentlyreading

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Suelizbeth
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Pickpick

It took me a while to read this collection of short stories because I wasn‘t quite sure of how it made me feel. Once I got into the style of the stories and the rhythm of the story telling, it flowed easier. Each story has an unexpected, sometimes gruesome, often ambiguous, never happy ending. Not every story is a favorite, hence only ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️#24B4Monday @TheReadingMermaid

Andrew65 Going well! 👍 1y
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Tashreads
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#currentlyreading

Side note: I think I may be overusing this background. It‘s a canvas my son painted, he is awaiting inspiration on what to add to it. I love it as is 😍. Ps: he is 6 😂😂😂

BarbaraTheBibliophage What a great achievement for your son! I hope you‘ll share it again when he makes his decision. 💙 1y
Rissreads Yes I would love to see what he comes up with! 1y
Rissreads I just read up on this book, it sounds fantastic! 1y
Nute Is this out in paperback now? I love the canvas that your son painted. I see talent in that young artist. Please continue to share his work.👍🏽 1y
readordierachel Such a great book, and great artwork by your son! 1y
92 likes2 stack adds5 comments
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Afua
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Pickpick

Utterly gut-wrenching. Had me in total shambles. Had my hand over my chest almost the whole way through.
These stories dart deftly across continents and genres making this book a potent capsule of gripping speculative prose and cruel reality.

Totally loved it. Can you tell? Lol!

ephemeralwaltz Yes yes yes! This is an outstanding collection. 9mo
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BillBlume
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Pickpick

This post is long overdue as I finished reading it more than a week ago. Arimah does a great job keeping her short story collection from being very one note. She even avoids being confined to one genre, switching with ease between contemporary to fantasy to sci-fi and back. Her stories are all character driven and thought-provoking. Took my time reading this, but I could have happily plowed through it, if I‘d wanted. A great collection!

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danibel

“Girls with fire in their bellies will be forced to drink from a well of correction till the flames die out.”

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Tanner
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Pickpick

Just finished this one, and quite enjoyed it. I should have brought a longer book with me to the dealership though.

MrBook Wow, another book with a titular someone falling from the sky 😂👏🏻. What the heck? 1y
Tanner @MrBook I hope it‘s not an omen! 1y
23 likes2 comments
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Tanner
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Another #blameitonlevarburton read!

Tamra I need to get this one! 1y
Tanner @Tamra I heard LeVar read the title story on his podcast a few months ago and found I was still thinking about it, so bought the book. (edited) 1y
Tamra @Tanner yes! 1y
27 likes4 stack adds3 comments
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danibel
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Currently reading

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hayinas7
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Pickpick

Lesley delivers 12 stories of loss, hope, violence, and family relationships. None of the stories resemble one another, exactly, but they manage to form a book united not only by theme and by setting (Nigeria and the U.S.)This book gave you magical realism and dystopian. Truly a wonderful read. Highly recommend

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mrozzz
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That was a fab event with Lesley Arimah & Doreen St. Felix. Omg I loved it! I read a library copy of Lesley‘s collection last year but I so enjoyed her talk & her stories that I bought the paperback and I‘m so glad I did. She treated it to a little doodle ☺️

Even if not typically a fan of stories I recommend giving this a try because of how diverse the stories are, crossing genres & oceans both. 👌🏻

Booksnob I met her the other day at the MN book awards where she won in the fiction category. I can‘t wait to read it. 2y
heikemarie I also adored this book and I‘m usually not a fan of short stories! I return to it and use it for teaching! 2y
Tanner Levar Burton read one of her stories on his podcast, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. So of course I ordered the book (not signed like yours though!). 2y
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mrozzz @Booksnob She‘s lovely, what a treat 🙃 2y
mrozzz @heikemarie 😄 That‘s so cool. 2y
mrozzz @Tanner They talked about that! She said she was riding her bike to work when she listened to it and she had to pull over because she wept. Hope you like the rest of the book!! 2y
132 likes5 stack adds6 comments
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Graywacke
Pickpick

A lot of positive reviews here, and I agree with them. The stories are fun and creative, with interesting looks at Nigeria, and some based on Nigerian folk tales(??), and some just from that perspective. I found some of the American-based stories flat, but not sure if it was the reader (who does a wonderful Nigerian voice, but kind of plain and unanimated American one) or the author. (I spent a silly amount of time trying to figure that out)

saresmoore Great review! I think I would wonder the same thing in regards to the audio narration. Now I‘m wondering how much the voice in my head impacts my print reading experience... 🤔 2y
Graywacke @saresmoore 😂😂 The voices in my head only cause confusion 2y
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RachelO
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Pickpick

Arimah is a beautiful, beautiful writer. Every story left me pausing to absorb it after I'd finished. There is never a word too many or out of place. Her girls (and many of them are still girls) are flawed, broken, strong and human, and her ability to deliver gut-punches is up there with the best. And still it's playful, hopeful, warm, I might have mentioned beautiful...

All the love, all the stars.

Graywacke Glad you enjoyed. I‘m listening to this now. 2y
RachelO @Graywacke How are you finding it? I've heard good things about the audio. 2y
readordierachel Great review! I loved this one too. 2y
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Graywacke @RachelO - the reader has a wonderful Nigerian voice. Oddly when she switches to an American voice she seems much less animated - (or is that the nature of the stories?) 2y
RachelO @Graywacke Do you know, I'm not sure. I hadn't noticed a change in tone between the US & Nigerian stories, but now you've mentioned it, I couldn't swear to it not being there. 🤔 2y
Graywacke @RachelO I‘m listening and wondering more with each story at the difference in the nature of the American vs. Nigerian set stories. But the narrator really has so much impact, it makes it hard for me to figure out if it‘s her voice or the author‘s. 2y
RachelO @Graywacke The downside of library books is I can't revisit them straight away 😕. At some point I'm planning to listen to the audio though - it'll be interesting to hear the difference! 2y
81 likes5 stack adds8 comments
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RachelO
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💔

julesG So sad, so true. 2y
RedLeaves Depressingly true 2y
tjwill Beautiful phrasing! 2y
64 likes3 comments
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RachelO
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readordierachel Loved this book 👍🏽 2y
RachelO @ReadOrDieRachel It's amazing! 2y
45 likes2 comments
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Graywacke

Stumbled across this on my library‘s audio list and I‘m trying it now. Bold Nigerian stories read wonderfully in a confident voice. Good fun so far.

saresmoore I‘ve been intrigued by this one, but haven‘t picked it up. I look forward to your review. 2y
Graywacke @saresmoore I‘m enjoying it so far (16% in). It‘s fun, and disarming so when she gets more serious, I‘m already in and it can be quite moving. 2y
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HFoster
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Pickpick

I found this author and this collection of short stories through #LevarBurtonReads. Levar's podcast has really enriched my reading experience by introducing me to authors I would never have picked up on my own. It's like Reading Rainbow for adults. I only wish there are many, many more podcasts to come. #NotPaid #HonestTruth #CommuterLifeSaver

BookishBelle I ❤️ Levar Burton!! 2y
HFoster @BookishBelle Me too! ❤ 2y
RaimeyGallant Sigh, Levar. :) And welcome to Litsy! #LitsyWelcomeWagon Some of us put together Litsy tips to help new Littens navigate the site. It's the link in my bio on my page in case you need it. Or if you prefer how-to videos, @chelleo put some together at the link in her bio. 2y
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RaimeyGallant And in case you're looking for a few Littens to follow to get started, I recommend @julesg @bookishmarginalia @kezzlou85 @tjwill @shemac77 @js0315 @dimeryrene @paula3 2y
julesG Welcome to Litsy! 2y
tjwill @RaimeyGallant Thanks for the tag! @HFoster Welcome to Litsy! 2y
Shemac77 Thanks for the tag! @RaimeyGallant 2y
HFoster @RaimeyGallant Thanks so much for the information! I will definitely check it out. Also, Thanks for the warm welcome! So glad @BookishBelle told me about Litsy. ❤ 2y
HFoster @julesG @tjwill Thanks for the welcome! ❤ 2y
BookishBelle 😘😘😘 2y
kezzlou85 Welcome to Litsy @HFoster . It's an amazing group of people on here. Thanks for the tag @RaimeyGallant . 💜 2y
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RachelO
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... and she does it again!

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RachelO
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This might just be amazing. And beautiful. And sometimes devastating. Short stories about girls growing up, and their mothers, fathers, cousins, aunties...

In "Second Chances", Uche's mum shows up in a furniture store, to help her buy a bed. Despite having been dead for 8 years. How do you react to having the chance to say all those things you never had the chance to say? That.

#IfYouLeaveMeCanIComeToo #marchintooz @Cinfhen @Lizpixie

shawnmooney I really liked this one as well! (edited) 2y
RachelO @shawnmooney First story - I wasn't sure. But she's well and truly got me now! 2y
shawnmooney My favorite is about the father and daughter. I can‘t remember the name right now. Maybe halfway through the book? 2y
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heikemarie Great collection! Levar Burton reads the eponymous story on his adult Reading Rainbow-esque podcast, Levar Burton Reads :) 2y
Cinfhen Still want to get to this collection!!! Now even more so....well done 🙌🏻❤️ 2y
BooksForEmpathy It‘s so good!! 2y
RachelO @shawnmooney That might be 'Light' - the one with the mum studying in the US? And it's stunning. But I'm not halfway yet... 2y
RachelO @inwhichHeikereadsharder I have no idea who Levar Burton is, but I'll look it out - I've seen loads of comments saying the podcast led people to the book. 2y
RachelO @Cinfhen @BooksForEmpathy It wasn't really even on my radar - just appeared in a stack I brought home from the library (as things do...). But It's great! 2y
heikemarie He is the guy from Reading Rainbow if you remember that show! :) 2y
RachelO @inwhichHeikereadsharder I don't think we got it in the UK - but I'm looking forward to discovering him/it! 2y
RachelO @inwhichHeikereadsharder So. Having sworn I'd never heard of Levar Burton, I've just discovered he's been in my ears for at least 10 hours ths month already in this audiobook. I downloaded the second part, and had a total 💡moment half way up the high street. 🙄. If I actually took any of this information in, I'd be dangerous! Anyhow, I'm loving listening to him & have the story & interview from the podcast both downloaded. 😊 2y
70 likes5 stack adds12 comments
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RachelO

This starts another argument between husband and wife, mild at first, but then it peppers and there is this thing that distance does where it subtracts warmth and context and history and each finds that they are arguing with a stranger.

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RachelO
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#currentlyreading

Because 6 books at a time just isn't quite enough.

BookishMe Hehehe... I think this is on my list as well. Happy Book Toggling!! 2y
PictureandBook Totally with you 2y
RachelO @BookishMe It's really good! Do get to it - at some point! 2y
RachelO @PictureandBook Thanks! This is short stories so doesn't actually count as a book - until I need it to 🤔#NoLogic! 2y
BookishMe @RachelO 👌🏾👌🏾 2y
55 likes5 comments
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Becker
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Pickpick

This collection of stories was a total pleasure to read. The writing was polished and the stories were consistently excellent - some were outstanding. This author has some wonderful ideas and the imagination to craft those ideas into really well told stories that are immersive and thought provoking. I will definitely re-read this book at some point.