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The Calculating Stars
The Calculating Stars: A Lady Astronaut Novel | Mary Robinette Kowal
106 posts | 80 read | 1 reading | 111 to read
On a coldspring night in 1952, a meteorite falls to earth and destroys much of theeastern seaboard of the United States, including Washington D.C. The Meteor, asit is popularly known, decimates the U.S. government and paves the way for aclimate cataclysm that will eventually render the earth inhospitable to humanity.This looming threat calls for a radically accelerated timeline in the earths effortsto colonize space, and allows a much larger share of humanity to take part inthe process. One of thesenew entrants in the space race is Elma York, whose experience as a WASP pilotand mathematician earns her a place in the International Aerospace Coalitionsattempts to put man on the moon. But with so many skilled and experienced womenpilots and scientists involved with the program, it doesnt take long before Elmabegins to wonder why they cant go into space, tooaside from some peskybarriers like thousands of years of history and a host of expectations aboutthe proper place of the fairer sex. And yet, Elmas drive to become the firstLady Astronaut is so strong that even the most dearly held conventions may notstand a chance against her. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
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rkeo
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Pickpick

My first alternative history, and I wasn't disappointed. I loved the empowering, believable, strong female lead. Her struggles were portrayed accurately for the time period, and she powered through and fought for equality in a way that had me rooting for her the entire time. This book won multiple sci-fi awards, including thr Nebula, and it is well-deserved. I can't wait to dive into the sequel.

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LibraryCin
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Mehso-so

The meteorite hitting and the resulting confusion started this book off with a “bang”, so to speak! It caught my attention right away, and I was hooked. It definitely slowed down in the middle, but there was plenty of sexism and racism going on (it was the 50s!) to keep things “interesting”. Overall, I enjoyed it, and I will be continuing the series.

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majkia

Best book of the year, for me. What a great read.

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Jari-chan
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Pickpick

What a wonderful novel! Elma became a dear friend of mine. I laughed with her, feared with her and was happy, whenever she reached something she was fighting for. Even though it's an Alternative History story, there's a very true base about this book: Racism and sexism...

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ElishaLovesBooks
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Maybe I‘ll get some reading done before I fall asleep?? Here‘s hoping! #longday #evenlongerweek #currentlyreading

51 likes2 stack adds
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ElishaLovesBooks
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Time to put more books on hold 😁😂 #librarybookhaul #weekendreading

DrexEdit I love your selections! 😊 1mo
56 likes1 comment
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imyril
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EIGHT (days to go!) - @deargeekplace and I are giving away two of these amazing books to celebrate the start of #SciFiMonth - sign up and join in the first week to enter the draw! (see link for more details)

https://deargeekplace.com/scifi-month-update-free-stuff/

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Schlinkles
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Pickpick

3.5⭐️ I really liked what this set up and look forward to the next one, but this took a while to get to the pay off.

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Schlinkles
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It‘s finally below 90 here today and we‘re also getting much needed rain. Settling in with this month‘s sci-fi and fantasy book club pick.

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BarbaraJean
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Pickpick

I finished this over a week ago & LOVED it...now my husband is reading it & is SO frustrated with it that my enthusiasm has waned a bit.😂 I loved the combination of alternate history, female empowerment in the face of rampant sexism, and its examination of stigma toward mental health treatment/anxiety...all with a Hidden Figures vibe. I HATED the poorly-written sex scenes—if I have to read one more rocket-launch double entendre, I will scream.⤵️

BarbaraJean Some of my husband‘s frustration is that he was expecting sci-fi and found that to be only a minimal backdrop. But he‘s also annoyed by the sexism of the time (I told him that‘s because he‘s never had to live through any sexism), and by the writing—he feels like the author shoehorns in every possible reference to making casseroles & drinking martinis (“I get it—it‘s the 50s!!”). It should be an interesting book club meeting tonight!! 2mo
cherinium I have to admit, sometimes I'd prefer to not hear the opinion of others if I really love a book. I can be very impressionable and sometimes, I lose some of my joy when I hear of someone's dissenting opinion. This is one thing that keeps me from talking books (or anything) that I love too much. (I know, I shouldn't care what others think, but it's a hard habit to break when you are a people pleaser. 2mo
41 likes2 comments
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Cortg
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I‘m bringing in 3-4 books for my book club to choose from. We haven‘t done any fantasy or sci-fi yet and I‘d like to introduce this genre. I don‘t want them to have to continue on a series so I‘m wondering if these books wrap up nicely or leave you with a cliff hanger. Any thoughts?

valeriegeary I love Bear and Nightingale so so much but feel like it doesn't do well as a standalone, you need to read the whole series. Another possibility, a similar kind of book that would standalone might be Spinning Silver. It's a little on the long side but reads pretty fast. 2mo
BookNAround Several of my book clubs have read The Calculating Stars and while many people have chosen to read further, you don‘t have to to have a sense of an ending. 2mo
Cortg @valeriegeary Thank you! I've had Bear and the Nightingale on my TBR for a while now and was hoping to kill 2 birds with 1 stone but I'll hold off and read the series on my own. I'll take a look at Spinning Silver. Thank you for the recommendation!
2mo
Cortg @BookNAround Thanks so much! It's also good to know several of your book clubs have chosen this book. Whew! 2mo
34 likes4 comments
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Shakespearience
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Pickpick

Bedtime reading and finishing a book before falling asleep are the best feelings. I really enjoyed this alt. history/sci-fi read about Lady Astronauts. Sexism and racism are SO FRUSTRATING though, but it did seem accurate so that is to be expected.

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silentrequiem
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Day 1: #7Days7Covers #CoverCrush

Thanks for the tag @erinreads! Have you been tagged yet @annamatopoetry?

annamatopoetry I have not! I also didn't get a notification on this one, but consider me tagged! 3mo
37 likes1 comment
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ChaoticMissAdventures
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Mehso-so

The 50's style lingo felt a bit forced. I also did not enjoy what felt like a flow between the story telling, a diary entry and a loosing of the 4th wall. The writing style was a total miss for me while the story was almost too close to reality and the characters were interesting and diverse. So in all the book was a mixed bag for me.

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BarbaraJean
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Saturday reading! I am SO enjoying this book. I started it on Thursday and have already devoured 2/3 of it. One of my fellow book clubbers said he read it in two days and immediately went out and bought the sequel. I can see why! Although I have to ask—anyone else reading this find the “romantic” husband/wife scenes a little cringey? I‘ve read about five too many “rocket launch” double entendres. 😬

llwheeler Totally agree lol. The rocket double entendres were my least favourite part - though I do appreciate that those scenes help show an established couple, who are past courting/newlywed, with a dynamic relationship and -gasp- a sex life. Don't always see much of that in fiction/media. 3mo
BarbaraJean @llwheeler Yes, I agree—I do really appreciate the portrayal of their marriage overall! 3mo
38 likes1 stack add2 comments
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ChaoticMissAdventures
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"Without a plane, what was I supposed to do? Math the problem to death"

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Hestapleton
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I went in for the tagged book and came out with more. What should I start?

shanaqui I vote The Calculating Stars, because I tore through it in just a couple of hours, personally! 3mo
See All 8 Comments
Crazeedi Nice stack! 3mo
Reagan-reads Oooh Dead Wake! The library is such a slippery slope 😂 3mo
OnlyYoo I really want to read The Binding and Five for I vote for those two! 3mo
Scash1114 Supermarket and Midnight in Chernobyl are both 😲😳 3mo
77 likes8 comments
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Bowietrek
Pickpick

I was not disappointed. Excellent book. The alternate history timeline was well done and and the characters outstanding, especially the lead character. It deserved the best novel Hugo award it received. Looking forward to the next book.

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Mitch
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Pickpick

This wasn‘t quite what I was expecting but I really enjoyed it! It‘s a slow burn and much more character driven than plot driven. The science & mathematics of how we get into space is explained well & embedded naturally into the story. The gender divisions & racial disparities are deftly handled as are the characters flaws & relationships. It was a fast, enjoyable read, with disaster, heart break and ambition as well as a good sprinkle of humour.

TrishB Great review 👍🏻 3mo
ShyBookOwl I thought it was pretty good, but tbh, I actually preferred the next one in the series! 3mo
Mitch @ShyBookOwl that good to know - I have it on order 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼 3mo
ShyBookOwl @Mitch nice! Enjoy 3mo
91 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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Mitch
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Perfect beach day today - finished the tagged book and listened to my Bookclub pick on Audio.

Snack of the day - mango and chocolate gelato! #bfcr3

AmyG Nice! 3mo
kspenmoll Looks heavenly! 3mo
110 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Mitch
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Weekly check in #bfcr3
A good week:-
✔️walked 44.5 miles
✔️swam x4
✔️Started another audiobook
✔️Had one mega treaty snack every day

@Blaire @nelehelen @Siani123 @callielafleur @Chrissyreadit @sudi @MicrobeMom @crazeedi @Books.Bottles.and.Babies

Chrissyreadit 🙌🙌🙌🙌 3mo
wanderinglynn Way to go! 🙌🏻 3mo
Crazeedi Such a great job Mitch!! 3mo
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Crazeedi Btw, a beautiful picture, how wonderful to see such beauty in your days! Lucky you!! 3mo
Mitch @Crazeedi thank you. The summer hasn‘t had too many of these kinda days so when they come we try to make the most of them! 3mo
sudi Great job 👏👏👏 3mo
77 likes6 comments
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Mitch
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Nestled in the dunes for an afternoon with a book and impromptu picnic. 👍🏼

LeahBergen 😮😮 Beautiful! 4mo
tpixie Lovely! My husband will want the grasses- he‘s been transplanting native grasses to our backyard- our ‘north‘ & ‘south‘ meadows 😊 he‘s a farmer at heart. Happy Reading 📖 📚♥️ 4mo
Mitch @tpixie that‘s so cool. We go to this beach specifically for the dunes. We love the grasses 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 4mo
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Mitch @LeahBergen it‘s a gorgeous place. So much sky 💕👏🏻💕 4mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Can I come and live with you and Mel?! 🤣❤️ 4mo
Blaire Beautiful!! What a great spot. 4mo
Mitch @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks my house if your house! 🤣 4mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Mitch ❤️❤️❤️ 4mo
Chelsea.Poole This is a perfect picture ♥️ 🌊 🌾 4mo
Mitch @Chelsea.Poole it was such a pretty day 💕 3mo
Velda1957 Awesome 3mo
kspenmoll How lovely! 3mo
90 likes12 comments
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Mitch
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Really enjoying this - perfect summer backyard read. I equally love opening books on my shelf and seeing postit not messages from Litsy Swap partners 😘. Thanks for this @BookNAround it‘s really good 😘

TrishB I love that too 👍🏻 or bookmarks you hadn‘t realised where there. 4mo
Mitch @TrishB it is isn‘t it ! So lovely to reread the messages and connect back 💕 4mo
BookNAround Glad you‘re enjoying it. 😁 4mo
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shanaqui Excellent book *and* bookmark choice. 😉 4mo
Mitch @shanaqui of course xxxxx 4mo
Mitch @shanaqui I thought the whales suited this climate focused book!🙌🏼🥰🙌🏼 4mo
Mitch @BookNAround it‘s perfect 😘 4mo
73 likes7 comments
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EclecticReaders
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The new Hugo Awards have been announced! Article: www.theverge.com/platform/amp/2019/8/19/20812571/hugo-award-2019-winners-worldcon-mary-robinette-kowal-best-novel-into-the-spider-verse See any favorites or any books you‘re adding to your TBR?

BookishJess Just added The Poppy War to my TBR! 4mo
SW-T Thanks for sharing! Might check out some of the short stories. 4mo
EclecticReaders @BookishJess That one‘s been getting a ton of great buzz! 4mo
EclecticReaders @SW-T Awesome! 4mo
54 likes4 comments
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Mitch
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Time to get Calculating Stars down from the shelf I think! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

https://io9.gizmodo.com/here-are-your-hugo-2019-award-winners-1837368271

monalyisha I just ordered this one -- & “Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach“ (which is a FANTASTIC title)! :) 4mo
Mitch @monalyisha agreed! 4mo
wanderinglynn So many to add to my already overflowing TBR! The Hugos are the only awards list where I usually like all the books. 4mo
61 likes1 stack add3 comments
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ralexist
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Pickpick

In 1952 a meteor hits DC and starts an extinction event reaction. This accelerates our space exploration program as we need to find a new planet to inhabit within 50 years. I was introduced to the author through her Glamourist Histories series (think Austen w/the addition of magic) & she's brilliant at alternative history because she doesn't change everything but merely alters enough so that everything changes. I highly recommend this & her too.

Chrissyreadit @Avanders @hermyknee this looked like a book that might be of interest to both of you. 4mo
hermyknee Thanks for the tag @Chrissyreadit ! Added to my TBR!‘ (edited) 4mo
Avanders @Chrissyreadit what @hermyknee said! 👆🏽 Thanks! 😘♥️ 4mo
35 likes4 stack adds3 comments
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Jaimelire
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Pickpick

Just finished my first book on my new Kobo. Alternate history, starting after WWII. A meteorite hits earth and results in long term weather changes that force humanity to explore colonizing space. The book focuses on a former WASP pilot and “computer”. This book deals with sexism & racism of the 1950s...which is rampant even in this alternate reality. If you liked “Hidden Figures” you might enjoy this one too.

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Aimeesue
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Next up for my Summer of Cli-Fi. Very good, yet infuriating so far. 1950s meteor strike of, well, basically my house, as DC and the Eastern seaboard burn. Kind of relieved that I wouldn't have to live through the devastating aftermath.

Also: the ebook's on sale in US stores today.
#kindledeal

23 likes2 stack adds
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Angitron
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Bailedbailed

Another bail. This one started out really strong, and then I lost interest. May return to it one day (may not) but for now I‘m putting it to the side!

Bookwormjillk I bailed on this one too. 5mo
21 likes1 comment
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Carolyn11215
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Really enjoyed this alternate history of the beginnings of the space program, in this telling expedited because of a meteorite strike in the DC area that is an extinction event. Deals with discrimination (gender and racial) in the space program and the role of female “computer” mathematicians in making spaceflight possible. #hugo2019

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imyril
Pickpick

My cup is full and runneth over.

I saw a review that said this book shamelessly panders to a certain type of reader. I am happy to be that sort of reader. All my joy in space exploration, with diversity and burn the patriarchy. Also, Dr Nathaniel York is my favourite fictional since Jacob Camherst. Delightful.

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IndoorDame
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Pickpick

I love borrowing books my literary friends have just finished - I get great jems I wouldn't have chosen for myself. This alternate history of the space program is eerily topical though it's set in the 50s. Through the fictional plot Kowal explores discrimination against women & black americans, and the climate crisis. It's also well written and a fun read. I'm interested in seeing where the sequel goes.

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shanaqui

*Finally* reading this -- yes, after I was in a total hurry to get it when it first came out. That happens all too often -- so many books, so little time. I'm enjoying it a lot so far, though I don't think it's going to beat Revenant Gun for my Hugo vote!

the-woman-who-read-everything I really loved this one - hope you enjoy it! 5mo
shanaqui @the-woman-who-read-everything I accidentally read it all in one day, so yes! 😁 5mo
17 likes2 comments
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Sharpeipup
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Thank you @slightlyfoxed for this (literal)goody bag & all it contains!
#summersantagoespostal #summersolsticebookexchange @BookishMarginalia

LeahBergen What‘s inside?? We all like to see. 😄 6mo
Sharpeipup @LeahBergen I‘m taking some photos of all the goodies now...just posted one of the mug that came with it... 6mo
35 likes2 comments
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NotCool
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Pickpick

A slow speed apocalypse caused by a meteoroid impact and subsequent global warming leads some people to desperately try to set up colonies in space, while others discount the possibility of climate change, cause its not hot right this second. It‘s set in the 1950s so the sexism, racism, and antisemetism are more overt. Otherwise, it could take place today.

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Bklover
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Reading this and really enjoying it. Science fiction that is alternate history starting in 1952. I haven‘t read much alternate history and it‘s fascinating seeing people and events worked into a new version of the past. Also love the strong female character who is quite relatable because Guess What! She‘s not perfect! Looking forward to the second in this series who many say is even better!
Oh, and Izzy says good morning!!❤️

JoScho Good morning adorably Izzy!!!! 6mo
sudi Izzy is so cute 🐶 6mo
brit91 💜🧡💛💚💙Izzy is too cute!!!😍💖❤💙💚💛🧡💜 6mo
See All 10 Comments
BookFreakOut I just got this at our used bookstore! 6mo
wanderinglynn Izzy is adorable! ❤️🐶 6mo
AlaMich Hi Izzy! ❤️ 6mo
Redwritinghood 👋🏻👋🏻 Izzy! 😍😍 6mo
ladym30 What a sweet face❤️! 6mo
GypsyKat Such a cutie!!! 😍 6mo
Bklover @JoScho @sudi @brit91 @BookFreakOut @wanderinglynn @AlaMich @Redwritinghood @ladym30 @GypsyKat Izzy says thanks for all the kind words! That look on her face said “Are you finished on Litsy yet?” ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️. #dogsoflitsy 6mo
115 likes4 stack adds10 comments
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Lauredhel
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How good is this book? I started it late at night, having finished Cracked, and got very little sleep.

Lexicon1982 One of the best books I‘ve read this year! Great strong female character and great plot! 6mo
tournevis Haven't read it yet, but hearing her gush about doing research for this, talking to actual astronauts, mathematicians and Nasa engineers, is a blast! 6mo
Deifio This book is great! Read the second one right after ☺️ 6mo
108 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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shanaqui

I've started setting a ten book TBR each month -- I can read anything else, but Horta got in the ten. I think this duopoly is topping my list for next month, plus the next Kate Daniels and Toby Daye books in those respective series. Then... Hmm, probably high time for more Daisy Dalrymple.

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Annl
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My daughter and I discovered a great walking path this week. It is a protected space. We also plan to take her kids and spook them a little. We saw 2 🐍 and the area is a little dark and mysterious! I have been mostly able to keep up with my goals. It has been fun trying. @wanderinglynn #bookfitnesschallenge

Lindy Looks like a beautiful place. Also, #snakesonLitsy @monalyisha 6mo
monalyisha Very cool! And also: I‘d definitely be spooked! 😅 6mo
4thhouseontheleft That looks like a fun walking trail! 6mo
wanderinglynn That looks like a lovely place to walk! 👍🏻 6mo
Clwojick This looks lovely! 🍃🌿🌱 (edited) 6mo
29 likes5 comments
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RealLifeReading
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Hooray! This great book, the first in the Lady Astronaut series, won the Nebula Award for Best Novel!

Riveted_Reader_Melissa I love those Legos! 7mo
bookishnerd Oh, awesome!! 7mo
99 likes4 stack adds2 comments
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llwheeler
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I'm not saying I matched my mug to my book on purpose this morning but... 💙

I'm loving this book not only in terms of the story, but the tactile experience of reading it. Maybe it's cause I've read a string of ebooks and old paperbacks recently, but this book is gorgeous and easy to read. The font, spacing, binding... loving it. Three cheers to some designers somewhere!

shanaqui Maaaaan I need to read this already. 7mo
llwheeler @shanaqui it's been on my tbr for a while, glad I'm finally getting to it 7mo
54 likes2 comments
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Lexicon1982
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Pickpick

Loved it

Bklover I‘m reading this now and loving it! 6mo
12 likes1 stack add1 comment
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llwheeler
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Whoa, I'm posting to Litsy from my computer! Fun to test out the web interface - very nice so far!

Completely unrelated pic is some pretty flowers from a recent trip to the butterfly conservatory. Testing out adding images from my computer rather than my phone.

Tagged book is my current read, which I just accidentally (minorly) spoiled for myself by listening to Writing Excuses podcast. Oops - oh well, it was a good discussion.

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BookNAround
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Pickpick

I generally don‘t do sci-fi but this one came highly recommended. I really enjoyed it and when one of my book clubs agreed to read it, they asked me to facilitate the meeting, which meant I had to write book club questions for it. A friend who works for the publisher passed them onto the editor and they might use my questions in an official capacity. Full review at https://booknaround.blogspot.com/2019/03/review-and-book-club-questions.html

ShyBookOwl I really enjoyed this too after going in somewhat blind. Not my typical genre. I did the audio, read my the author. She's a really good voice actor (she has a background in stage puppetry!) 7mo
ravenlee That‘s pretty cool! Well done you. 7mo
65 likes5 stack adds2 comments
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beaconhillbooks
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Pickpick

A cozy sci fi. Alternative history. And a lady astronaut.

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rabbitprincess
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April 2019 recap: 15 books read.
Favourite: The Calculating Stars (with No Hard Feelings, by Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy, a close second)
Least fave: Across the Plains, by Robert Louis Stevenson

tpixie 🥳🥳🥳🥳 7mo
StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Nice job! 📖💖 7mo
31 likes2 comments
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Violetta
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Pickpick

Solid ⭐⭐⭐⭐. This was a second go for the book - first time I bailed cause I didn't feel for it, but now I couldn't put it down and am looking forward to the second novel. The story is great, covering apocalyptic event, its consequences(with a great deal of plausible science), political and personal aspects of dealing with the grim future. Setting and main characters strongly reminded me of Hidden Figures which I love dearly. #scifi #womengotospace

Erofan Sounds interesting! 7mo
Violetta @Erofan A good chance to start reading in English, huh? 😏 7mo
Erofan @Violetta It's gonna be a long read! 📆 7mo
48 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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ChasingOm
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Pickpick

#2019HugoFinalists: Only the 1st book was nominated, but I had to go right into the 2nd one; now I‘m looking forward to books #3 (coming in 2020) and #4 (2022).
These books mix a post apocalyptic world (meteorite) with an alternate history timeline (opens in the 1950s with President Dewey) and how that era‘s racial issues would have translated into a world where the space program was “international” but people were still terrible.
🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀/5

21 likes1 stack add
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rabbitprincess
Pickpick

I LOVED this book! It felt plausible as an alternate history and has a Hidden Figures vibe that I enjoyed. Also loved that Elma was a pilot, because that meant some great flying scenes 😄 I have already requested the next book in the series.

21 likes1 stack add
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Deifio
Pickpick

Amazing! Can't wait to read the second book!