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No One Tells You This
No One Tells You This: A Memoir | Glynnis MacNicol
38 posts | 19 read | 49 to read
If the story doesnt end with marriage or a child, what then? This question plagued Glynnis MacNicol on the eve of her 40th birthday. Despite a successful career as a writer, and an exciting life in New York City, Glynnis was constantly reminded she had neither of the things the world expected of a woman her age: a partner or a baby. She knew she was supposed to feel bad about this. After all, single women and those without children are often seen as objects of pity, relegated to the sidelines, or indulgent spoiled creatures who think only of themselves. Glynnis refused to be cast into either of those roles and yet the question remained: What now? There was no good blueprint for how to be a woman alone in the world. She concluded it was time to create one. Over the course of her fortieth year, which this memoir chronicles, Glynnis embarks on a revealing journey of self-discovery that continually contradicts everything shed been led to expect. Through the trials of family illness and turmoil, and the thrills of far-flung travel and adventures with men, young and old (and sometimes wearing cowboy hats), she is forced to wrestle with her biggest hopes and fears about love, death, sex, friendship, and loneliness. In doing so, she discovers that holding the power to determine her own fate requires a resilience and courage that no one talks about, and is more rewarding than anyone imagines. Intimate and timely, No One Tells You This is a fearless reckoning with modern womanhood and an exhilarating adventure that will resonate with anyone determined to live by their own rules.
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review
Librarybelle
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Bailedbailed

Guys - I‘m bailing on this one. While the book sounds promising (40 year old woman discovering it‘s fine to be single without kids), I just didn‘t fall in love with the story. There‘s just something about this I‘m not connecting to...I‘m approaching 40 single and without kids and have also been in conversations where people told me that “there‘s still time” or “he will come along soon.”

Here‘s my advice: be happy living how you want to live!

Tove_Reads I‘ve been waiting for books like this. It seems like women who are not mothers become invisible when they are 40. Would like to read books about women in their 40s and 50s without their lives being all about family. 10mo
Librarybelle @Tove_Reads I‘m hoping we see more of these type of books published over the next few years, as single women start to find their voices in society. You‘re right - they do become invisible. It‘s sad. 10mo
Tove_Reads @Librarybelle Indeed, it is sad. Alternatively there are some superbly cold stuck up business women or some superbly pathetic loners with 40 cats or something like that in some stories. I have to say I‘ve enjoyed seeing Hollywood make The Wife and The Book Club, but these women are a lot older. 10mo
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Librarybelle @Tove_Reads Yes! The cold stuck up business woman or the pathetic loner with 40 cats does seem to be the stereotype in some stories. It is good to see Hollywood make movies about strong, independent older women...that‘s been another type of struggle, showcasing the vibrancy of older women (women don‘t need to be put on a shelf once they reach a certain age). 10mo
Slajaunie My aunt is 63, never been married, no kids, retired from a successful career she enjoyed. She is well educated but not stuck up. I really enjoy spending time with her. Does not regret her decisions. (edited) 10mo
Librarybelle @Slajaunie ❤️❤️❤️ 10mo
Librarybelle @Slajaunie She sounds like a wonderful woman! 10mo
CouronneDhiver Amen! 10mo
97 likes9 comments
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Librarybelle
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“Men, it occurred to me, perhaps for the first time in my life, did not need to be a goal.”

While this memoir so far has not been as engaging as I had hoped, little nuggets like this come through the author‘s discovery that it is okay to be single at forty, with no expectation for a “happily ever after” with a husband and kids. I‘m approaching 40 in a few years...while I‘m depressed about a lot of things, being single is not one of them!

Kaye Coming from the side of the Fence of Married Since Birth, I think you can be content with either side of the fence. I do not believe you need to be married to be happy. I know married people who are miserable but they stick it out. For WHAT ? Life is too short. If you are perfectly content being single , then don‘t throw a man into the mix. That could mess up a perfectly good thing if you get the wrong one or marry Just Because. Be Happy 💖💖💖 10mo
Librarybelle You are right, @kaye ...the bottom line is do what makes you happy! 10mo
MallenNC I expected this book to be different. I started it and it wasn‘t bad but not what I expected from the title. I had to take it back to the library before I finished and I haven‘t gotten it back. But more importantly, I agree that it‘s very possible to be happy on your own! Life is about so much more than just relationship status! 10mo
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Librarybelle @MallenNC So true! ❤️❤️❤️ 10mo
StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻 10mo
SoManyBooksNotEnoughTime 🙌🙌🙌🙌 10mo
82 likes6 comments
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Librarybelle
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Caturday morning with #Zeke and my current read. #catsoflitsy

Crazeedi 💜😽💜 10mo
tammysue 💛😻 10mo
Dragon 😻 10mo
88 likes3 comments
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Librarybelle
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I‘m intrigued by this...as a woman without a husband/boyfriend and without children, I frequently receive comments on my lack of something in my life. Patrons helpfully tell me I‘d be a lot happier with a husband and kids. I‘m also a few years away from 40. Let‘s see if I agree with this book...

CouronneDhiver Cool. 🖤 People mean well but, it seems, they have a hard time envisioning other paths... Super curious to see your review. 12mo
LauraBeth I just checked this out the other day because it sounded so interesting! 12mo
AnneCecilie Can‘t wait to hear your thoughts on this. Seems we face the same difficulties in our life choices 12mo
See All 22 Comments
Tamra How weird & insulting people (esp. patrons) say these things to you! 12mo
Susannah I experience something similar: extended family members don‘t treat me like an adult because I don‘t have a husband and children (I promise it‘s not because I‘m just immature), and friends think I‘m not truly happy because I‘m childless. There‘s this weird sense that they believe they understand something about me that I just refuse to acknowledge. And they feel sorry for me. Ugh. 🤦‍♀️ (edited) 12mo
Mollyanna But you do have children... they just happen to have fur! 12mo
Librarybelle @CouronneDhiver @AnneCecilie @Tamra @Susannah If I had a dime for every time a patron looked at my hand for a ring or asked if I had a boyfriend or if I‘m ever going to get married...I‘d be rich! I also have a few family members who feel a disappointment in me for not marrying and having children. I‘m open to a relationship, but my Mr Darcy hasn‘t arrived yet! 12mo
Librarybelle @LauraBeth I‘d be interested in your thoughts on this! 12mo
Librarybelle @Mollyanna You‘re so right! Sadly, many people don‘t see it that way. 12mo
CouronneDhiver 🙄 Totally get it. I‘m married but with no children and I get comments all the time... your Mr Darcy and my kid will get here (or not) in their own good time. Lol 12mo
Librarybelle @CouronneDhiver Lol! So true...if it‘s meant to happen, it will happen! 12mo
Clare-Dragonfly People are so rude! 🙄 Perhaps one day your Mr. Darcy will be the one to look at your hand for a ring and ask about a boyfriend. Or perhaps he‘ll be more polite and respectful than that. But I‘m sure he will love books! 12mo
Librarybelle @Clare-Dragonfly Books are a must! I would also hope he‘d more polite and respectful. 12mo
Lisaw13 I'm single with no children and am happy with my life. My mom actually gets asked a lot about my marital status and she just tells them I'm happy as is - love that understanding! 12mo
Librarybelle That is wonderful, @Lisaw13 ! I may be unhappy about a lot of things, but my single status is not one of them! 12mo
valeriegeary I loved this book. It was different than what I expected but really well done. Hope you enjoy it! 12mo
batsy I'm in the same boat—shall we call it our #spinstercruise—& deal with similar comments. I've become quite mellow about this because some people seem genuinely gobsmacked that I'm totally fine & don't want any of what they think I should want. I've begun to realise it's their problem and not mine, lol. Also, so curious about this book! 12mo
Susannah @batsy I love #spinstercruise! 🤣 12mo
ferskner @batsy Can I come on #spinstercruise too??? @Librarybelle I deal with this a lot, too, and have mixed feelings that are too much to get into here. I'm hoping to build a commune with all my single/childless friends. 12mo
Librarybelle @ferskner I‘d love to visit that commune! 12mo
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GondorGirl
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The question at the center of this memoir is whether you can be happy as a single, childless woman over 40. I'm really enjoying MacNicol's voice, which is both humorous and relatable.

I was 34 when I met my husband, and am now approaching 40 and childfree. I struggled for years with the question of whether my childless life would have meaning. I'm now happy with my decision not to reproduce, but still relate to the struggle of women's worth.

Tamra I think the shades analogy is a good one. A good reminder that life is a journey of internal and external experiences, not an end goal. I forget that and then feel like I‘m failing when things aren‘t “perfect” and won‘t ever be. 12mo
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wallacereads
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Pickpick

This is a terrific memoir by an author who finds herself at 40 years old to be successful, single and childless. Everyone should read this.

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Frisee
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“My life, precisely as it was—the product of good and bad decisions—began to come into focus for me. Sitting there, I could see it for the first time as something I‘d chosen. Something I‘d built intentionally, and not simply a makeshift thing I‘d constructed as a for-the-time-being existence until something came along that would make me as a whole person in the eyes of the world.”

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Augustdana
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Tagged my favourite book of the year, I am happy about my reading life, and looking forward to 2019. Not too sure about my challenge for next year...yet.

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Ksoull
Mehso-so

Very realistic bio - some hilarious moments and some super boring; alas such is life

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GlassAsDiamonds
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Mehso-so

Frightfully close to pan from me. Oddly disjointed and jumpy, I wouldn‘t actually class this as a memoir. Part whinge, part lifestyle cheerleading, it‘s an angsty assessment of the author‘s life the year she turned 40 sprinkled with on trend feminist musing and paid jaunts to Iceland and the South of France. The 3rd of the book that dealt with her mothers decline from Parkinson‘s was the strongest but an unfortunately minor note. Also kitty 😻

Soubhiville 🥰🐈 14mo
34 likes1 comment
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GlassAsDiamonds
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I‘m not having much luck with Memoir at the moment (halted Lands of Lost Borders for this one but am just finding it angsty and slightly obvious) but I did adore this line in a chapter headed with a Katherine Hepburn quote “Don‘t foresake Those duties which keep you out of the nuthouse” & who can but love such a line from such a woman? 😊

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Augustdana
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I made myself say it out loud ‘I might always be alone‘ it sounded less overwhelming against the noise of the breaking waves. I laughed. Fuck off, I thought, I‘m done feeling bad. And then aloud: ‘I can do whatever I want.‘ - friends I absolutely loved this book so much. It was a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ took this pic in July on the beach in Tofino BC 🖤

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Augustdana
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Chillin at Starbucks between classes this afternoon. Just finished kudos!!

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mrozzz
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Pickpick

Loved this. The memoir switches between Glynnis MacNicol's perceptions/apprehension toward being single & childless at 40, and her urgent need to place her mother in a nursing home as her Parkinson's causes a quick decline in mental function. There were moments of levity and discomfort as MacNicol dates, travels, visits her parents, and helps her newly single sister take care of her 2 kids in the weeks following the birth of her third child. 👇🏻

mrozzz (Cont‘d): The title is a brutal heads up to women everywhere, a warning of how despite the "jealousy" of married friends, the over-40 single woman is almost always a pitied pariah - until in this case, MacNicol reclaimed her place in the world, refusing for being defined for what she's not. 1y
valeriegeary I loved this one too! 1y
readordierachel Nice pic! 😊 1y
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LauraBrook Great review! As a single 40-year-old without kids (well, human children), I so identify with this book - I need to get my hands on it! 1y
mrozzz So good! I love her style! @valeriegeary 1y
mrozzz Thank you ☺️💗 @readordierachel 1y
mrozzz @LauraBrook Yay! I hope you pick it up soon. It‘s great. Although I‘m not close to 40, I feel so lucky to be surrounded by all this great honest writing calling out “traditionalism” because growing up I sure didn‘t see it. 1y
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chelreads
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This was such an empowering memoir! #80in18

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valeriegeary
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Doing a little #audiobaking this fine fall afternoon. Who wants some apple cake?

Also this book is ?! MacNicol asks what is a woman if she chooses not to be married, not to be mother? What is there left to be? Where do we find our worth? With honesty, kindness, and humor she examines her life and her choices. I've said "amen" more than once! ?

Dolly Apple cake is the best! In this cooler weather I‘ve been thinking about making my “apple strudel “ recipe. Where does your recipe come from? 1y
WhatDeeReads I want Apple cake very much. I was thinking of doing some comfort cooking tomorrow. Chicken noodle soup. 1y
valeriegeary @WhatDeeReads mmmmm that sounds delicious! 🤤 1y
61 likes4 comments
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BookAlongBlog
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Pickpick

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟/5

At 40 Glynnis MacNicol is single and childless. Instead of being pitied because of this she sets out on a journey of self discovery. With distinction and open-mindedness Gylnnis has written a memoir that a lot of women can look up to in this day and age. Very Empowering!

#memoir #bookreview #bookblogger #booksandcoffee

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Divyaslesha
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We need more books about single women doing great things with their lives! This is a great memoir ❤️

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Mitch
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1- In fits and starts...trying to do at least 1 a month.
2- F 80 vs NF 20
3- I love nature writing, obscure micro histories and some true crime
4- Random Family by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
5- tagged
#hellothursday

wanderinglynn Thanks for playing! 😀 1y
Mitch @wanderinglynn cool...I don‘t know why I don‘t read more...what I do read I love, so might need to change that ! 1y
60 likes2 comments
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Jeanne_S
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Pickpick

Interesting.

BekahPat In light of the fact that I just turned 40 I really want to read this memoir. 1y
Jeanne_S Yes. It was a good fit for me too for where I am in my life with aging parents and hitting that age. 1y
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balletbookworm
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Pickpick

I feel very seen by this book. Thank you Rebecca at Book Riot and Doree and Kate from the Forever35 podcast for telling me to read it.

Leftcoastzen Sounds good. 1y
40 likes6 stack adds1 comment
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Mitch
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Pickpick

As a childless woman over 40 this memoir jumped out at me. What does it mean to be a woman who doesn't want to / can't have children, or conform to one of the roles both society & our mothers might have drawn us towards.

At the beginning her questions seem too ‘current'. As she shifts her questions towards "Who am I, if I don't want to be a New Yorker? I felt she'd found what she really wanted to discover and her authentic voice came through.

Mitch Interspersed through her memories and musing - is her life long love of books and reading. There's a wonderful image of a cushion from her childhood that has absorbed all the memories, emotions and literary comfort that she's shared with love ones through time. It's a beautiful scene 1y
GondorGirl Ooo- this sounds right up my alley... and my library has the audio book! Now I have to wait until my hold comes in! 1y
Weaponxgirl I need to read this! Thank you for the review 1y
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Mitch @Weaponxgirl & @GondorGirl it was good - I enjoyed part 2 a lot and it left me feeling very positive about stuff. 1y
Weaponxgirl @Mitch it‘s exactly what I need to read, I‘m in my mid thirties and a lot of my friends either have kids or are planning for them and then there‘s me with no maternal instinct at all. I want something that makes you feel positive. 1y
Mitch @Weaponxgirl I‘d say give it a go! 👍🏼 1y
iread2much Have you read Selfish, Shallow and Self Absorbed? One of my co-workers gave it to me as a gift, and it was a really interesting read. I don‘t have children and I don‘t want them, so this book and others like it are always interesting to read. 1y
iread2much @Weaponxgirl me too! I want a story where the woman without children isn‘t made to feel like an outcast/failed woman 1y
Weaponxgirl @iread2much yes! My thoughts exactly! 1y
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riversong153
Mehso-so

Macnicol‘s life is interesting. I wanted to connect to the material but couldn‘t. Maybe this just wasn‘t for me?

GlassAsDiamonds Currently struggling with it myself - this sentiment perfectly captures how I‘m feeling. 😊 14mo
30 likes1 comment
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ontheBL
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Pickpick

A fabulous memoir about a newly 40, childless, single woman in New York learning to struggle, be proud of, regret, love, question, and live the life she has. A truly resonating memoir about being a woman today and finding happiness in being true to oneself.

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Mitch
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“I was struck again by who had actually built the country and who had received credit and how both these things .... were the direct result of who got to tell the stories and how they were told”.

MacNicols, on a cross country road trip reflects on women pioneers and the impact Laura Ingalls has had on her world view. #sundaymorningquiettime

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riversong153
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☝🏾🙆🏾‍♀️💜📚🤓🙌🏾

IamIamIam Haha, I love this!!! 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 🙌🏻🙌🏻 1y
46 likes2 comments
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Mitch
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“And I knew the simple act of reading would give my mind a certain sort of peace nothing else could”

Total agree - many a time I‘ve turned to books to regroup, add stillness and perspective - especially when life starts getting too crazy.

Back on track with my #onenonfictionamonth

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Mitch
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“And I knew the simple act of reading would give my mind a certain sort of peace nothing else could”

Total agree - many a time I‘ve turned to books to regroup, add stillness and perspective - especially when life starts getting too crazy.

Back on track with my #onenonfictionamonth

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Mitch
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“And I knew the simple act of reading would give my mind a certain sort of peace nothing else could”

Total agree - many a time I‘ve turned to books to regroup, add stillness and perspective - especially when life starts getting too crazy.

Back on track with my #onenonfictionamonth

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Mitch
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Perfect campfire snacks courtesy of @Mdargusch - cheddar cheese and caramel popcorn Ohio style. 👍🏼 #hometownswap

tammysue Yum! 😋 1y
Mitch @whatshesreadingnow it really is! It‘s one of those combinations that shouldn‘t work but really does! 1y
Kimberlone Camping reading is the best! 1y
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emilyhaldi How perfect!!! A very Ohio activity as well 🏕 enjoy!!! 1y
TheNerdyProfessor That is classic Chicago popcorn 😍😍 1y
Mdargusch Fun! I love to camp too. But not in a tent. 🐀🦔🐉🐿🐞🕷🐜 1y
MicrobeMom Looks great! Enjoy! 1y
CouronneDhiver 😎 Have a great time 1y
101 likes8 comments
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riversong153
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1. Space Jam
2. French fries 🍟
3. Contemporary Christian Music
4. No One Tells You This
#FRIYAYINTRO @jesshowbooks

Laughterhp Yes! Space Jam!! 1y
LibrarianRyan That Space Jam song will now be stuck in my head all day. 😜 if the guys question me about it I‘m blaming you. 😁 1y
Pamwurtzler ❤️ Space Jam! 1y
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mabell My 3 yr old nephew LOVES Space Jam! He has cheered MJ in his sleep! *in sleepy voice* Go Michael Jordan Go! 😂😂 1y
riversong153 @LibrarianRyan I‘ll take the blame lol! 1y
riversong153 @mabell 😍😂 1y
33 likes6 comments
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balletbookworm
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I feel so seen right now.

sprainedbrain Love that! 1y
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Mitch
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That‘s the best think about your local Indie bookstore- every time you go, something random, outside of your vision takes your fancy and comes home with you!

This is a memoir written my MacNicols‘s during her fortieth year reflecting on the roles, expectations, pigeons holes created for women along with her own adventures and experiences of womanhood.

Happy Booklovers day ! ❤️📚❤️

wanderinglynn Sounds a lot like my life (save for the living in NYC and the man with a cowboy hat 😉). Will definitely have to pick it up. 1y
Mitch Yeah it looked interesting ! Maybe is because I‘ve got a significant birthday next year, but I‘m feeling the need to pause and reflect! I‘ll let you know if it helped the thinking! 🤔 1y
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BookishClaire
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This book is SO GOOD.

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BookishClaire
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sherri
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Happy to be starting this one.

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