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How to Be a Good Creature
How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals | Sy Montgomery
National Book Award finalist Sy Montgomery reflects on the personalities and quirks of 13 animalsher friendswho have profoundly affected her in this stunning, poetic, and life-affirming memoir featuring illustrations by Rebecca Green. Understanding someone who belongs to another species can be transformative. No one knows this better than author, naturalist, and adventurer Sy Montgomery. To research her books, Sy has traveled the world and encountered some of the planets rarest and most beautiful animals. From tarantulas to tigers, Sys life continually intersects with and is informed by the creatures she meets. This restorative memoir reflects on the personalities and quirks of thirteen animalsSys friendsand the truths revealed by their grace. It also explores vast themes: the otherness and sameness of people and animals; the various ways we learn to love and become empathetic; how we find our passion; how we create our families; coping with loss and despair; gratitude; forgiveness; and most of all, how to be a good creature in the world.
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Tonton
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Japanese New Year holiday runs from 12/28 to 1/6, so lots of time for reading and reflection. 2019 was not a good year for me. The tagged book is my first read on this first day of 2020; the author eloquently describes the importance of connection by describing her interaction and relationships with the animals in her life. Lesson learnt; my resolution this year is to have empathy and be a good creature the best I can.

kalinichta I love Sy Montgomery, so I stacked this with a quickness. Here's to a new year better than the last. 🌟 4w
Tonton @kalinichta So do I! I can‘t eat octopus now❣️ 4w
kalinichta @Tonton 👍🐙💙 4w
batsy That's a lovely resolution 💕 4w
Tonton @batsy Going to do my best ❣️ 4w
33 likes2 stack adds5 comments
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Tanner
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Mikey says “Stop trying to drop hints, Mom. I already AM a good creature.”

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BekahPat
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Pickpick

“Love is the highest and best use of a life.” This is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. I will be revisiting this story again and again, because like the author I too have been the student under my animals teaching learning to be a good creature. 5⭐️

Jas16 I want to buy that book for the cover alone. 2mo
BekahPat @Jas16 it is fantastic. There are also several illustrations throughout the book that are beautiful. They are black and white sketches in the book. Beautiful art work 2mo
Jas16 @BekahPat definitely moving it higher on my TBR 2mo
24 likes3 stack adds3 comments
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jillrhudy
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Pickpick

Very moving and full of love. Happily, four out of 13 of the animals whose stories appear in this memoir are dogs. One is an octopus @Aimeesue !!! #pets #animals #nature #zoology #memoir #autobiography

Aimeesue I luff her! 🐙🐙🐙 3mo
28 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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tjwill
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Jas16 I love this one too. 4mo
59 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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BookNAround
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Day 6 #7days7covers #covercrush Seven days, seven covers I love. No explanation.

Anyone wanting to play along, please do!

Jas16 Love this cover! 4mo
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JulietReads
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Emu pies? Eww. Lol. 😂

37 likes1 stack add
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Schnoebs
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Mehso-so

O in Care of Magical Creatures NEWTs:
3.5 ⭐️

I have always been a fan of memoirs and this is a very interesting take on the genre. I really enjoyed hearing her stories and the impacts animals had on her life in every way possible. Anyone who loves animals will enjoy this. I got the overall message from the book but I don‘t see myself remembering much of the actually details.

#magicalreadathon2019 #audiobook #scribd #mpls #twincities

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tholmz
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I did not expect to like this as much as I did but it was just beautifully written. I feel attached to each of the animals Sy Montgomery told a story about. I even cried!

JulietReads I'm going to read this book now. 5mo
tholmz @julietbooks I hope you love it!! 5mo
8 likes2 comments
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kindergartenkat
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#nonfiction2019 #somethingwithadeath

I just adore Sy Montgomery! Her love of animals just makes me smile.

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SammyKat
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Pickpick

I've loved Sy's writing since "The Soul of an Octopus," and I can't recommend this memoir enough. Animals give us so much incentive to see everything differently. It's a wonderful, optimistic read, and yeah you'll probably cry a little.

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ozma.of.oz
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This was a sweet little memoir based around the lessons Montgomery learned from the animals in her life. I honestly bought this just for that cover art. ☺️

It was a little out of order chronologically speaking, so expect some skipping around. But each relationship is poignant and weighty and beautiful. And I wanted to go home and hug my dog and my cat as soon as I finished this. 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌑

ozma.of.oz Two of the dogs, the pig, and an octopus die from old age. 8mo
28 likes1 stack add1 comment
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ozma.of.oz
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1 - 🎧 How to Be a Good Creature 🐙
2 - my hold on The Prey of Gods should only be a couple weeks 🎉
3 - The Martian 🎬

#weekendreads @rachelsbrittain

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Redjewel_7734
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Pickpick

This is a beautiful little book & a great listen. Seeing what animals have taught Sy & just her incredible bond & love with & for the creatures in her life was sweet, funny, poignant, & moving. If you‘re an animal lover, you should read this book immediately. There are some hard parts (some of the animals have had bad life experiences) but Sy doesn‘t go into detail on that but rather focuses on how a little love is transformative for all.

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CorinnaBechko
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Pickpick

A charming antidote to much of what is going on in the world right now. We need more good creatures.

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CorinnaBechko
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Fresh week, fresh read!

13 likes2 stack adds
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Booksnob
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I love this book and I love this dog- even though she‘s not mine. I‘ve learned about some creatures that I‘ve never heard of too.

BookNAround I really like Sy Montgomery. 9mo
12 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Amandajoy
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An extended nap cut into my reading time today, but now I‘m settling into this one for the evening. I‘m trying to avoid all thing GoT - I have to wait until Tuesday to watch the new episode with my fiancé. Here‘s hoping I can avoid any spoilers until then! ?

DogEaredBooks I adored this book! 9mo
46 likes1 comment
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Amandajoy
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Starting this one today. It seems like a lovely pick for spring.

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Emory
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This so lovely. I've found myself tearing up several times. And the author narrates the audiobook which is always a bonus.

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JSW
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This is my favorite quote from the book. “A far worse mistake than misreading an animal‘s emotions is to assume the animal hasn‘t any emotions at all.”

35 likes1 stack add
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JSW
Pickpick

I really enjoyed this delightful, wistful little memoir in animals. I love how the author refers to each animal she writes about as “someone.” If you love and miss animals, have some tissues ready. This would make a great book group read.

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LWagoner
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Pickpick

This was a very unique way of approaching a memoir. The author used what she knew best - the animals that have impacted her life. These individual stories focused on a particular important animal and the journey she took in her life finding meaning and love. The cover of this book is amazing!

ozma.of.oz This sounds really interesting! Thanks for the review! 10mo
24 likes1 stack add1 comment
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InnerSavvy
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Pickpick

An enjoyable, easy read about animals and their effect on the author.

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glitterkitty459
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Pickpick

5 🌟 I adored this book. Yes, I cried. Animal books always make me emotional 😭 I need to read more by this author!
The illustrations were fantastic!!
🐖🐕🐙🕷️💖
#animals #memoir #howtobeagoodcreature

brandybear22 I‘m doing a library challenge and need a book with non-human characters, adding this to my stack for that purpose. I hope I enjoy it as much as you 12mo
134 likes10 stack adds1 comment
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SW-T
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#friyayintro @howjessreads

1. Tagged
2. Hubby‘s making dinner; I‘m making dessert
3. Institutional green
4. They didn‘t pick out a boy‘s name
5. Will do!

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Jee_HookedOnBookz
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I think I'm one of the slowest readers here 😅 Here's what I read in January. Reviews to follow.

To Kill a Kingdom & Bad Romance were for my #newyearwhodis challenge. Great recommendations by my match @thewallflower0707

Alice & Red Queen were two books I've been wanting to read

Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People about Race was from my TBR

Good Creature was because I liked the cover & title when I saw it at Target 😅

#janwrapup

Areader2 I read two books in January ha your not the slowest 🐌 😂 12mo
Jee_HookedOnBookz @Areader2 This is considered one of my lucky months! 😅 12mo
inthegreensandblues I'm slow too. 😁 I was just admiring that How To Be a Good Creature at Target yesterday. Did you like it? 12mo
See All 6 Comments
StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego You did great! 📚💕 12mo
Jee_HookedOnBookz Thank you so much, Danielle @StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego! ❤️😘 12mo
Jee_HookedOnBookz @inthegreensandblues I loved it Christine! Such heartfelt stories in the collection! More so if you're an animal lover! 😊 12mo
66 likes6 comments
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thebookishtype15
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#nonfiction2019

Loving this! Gotta get some more books from the library soon!

Riveted_Reader_Melissa So glad you are enjoying it! 12mo
56 likes1 comment
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DogEaredBooks
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Pickpick

I love this book so much. Sy Montgomery is always a great writer and this is one of those books that from the first page I knew I would love it. One of those sweet tender books that leave a little mark on you. If you need a pick me up in this crazy winter try this one!

Texreader Ok I‘m struggling the last two days with this one. It was on my tbr list. Saw it at bookstores yesterday and today and just randomly turned to a page and it wasn‘t what I expected and took it off my tbr list. And now your review!! Do I put it back on my list? 12mo
DogEaredBooks @Texreader It is a more personal memoir than her usual writings but I really did enjoy it. If you‘re not sure I would say read one of the chapters (they are mostly stand alone essays) and go from there. 12mo
56 likes4 stack adds2 comments
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Expandingbookshelf
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“I often wish I could go back in time and tell my young anxious self that my dreams weren‘t in vain and my sorrows weren‘t permanent. I can‘t do that, but I can do something better. I can tell you that teachers are all around to help you; with four legs or two or eight or even none; some with internal skeletons, some without. All you have to do is recognize them as teachers and be ready to hear their truths.”

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bookish_wookish
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This was one of the books from my Barnes & Noble haul the other night. Im excited about this one! It looks so interesting!

Jee_HookedOnBookz I loved this book. Be prepared to cry though ❤️ 12mo
Jee_HookedOnBookz @bookish_wookish oh yes... 😔 I hope you'll enjoy this read as much as I did! ❤️ 12mo
51 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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CocoReads
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Pickpick

Book 2 for #newyearwhodis I don‘t normally read animal books because I can‘t deal when they die but this book captured me from the very beginnning. I will admit to sort of skimming the chapter about Clarabelle the Tarantula. Intellectually I know spiders perform a valuable service but they still squick me out. But overall I enjoyed it!

monalyisha Ha! Great review! 13mo
70 likes4 stack adds1 comment
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Tanzy13
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National Book Award finalist Sy Montgomery reflects on the personalities and quirks of 13 animals—her friends—who have profoundly affected her in this stunning, poetic, and life-affirming memoir featuring illustrations by Rebecca Green.

SW-T @Tanzy13 It was a very good read 😊 13mo
85 likes6 stack adds1 comment
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Jee_HookedOnBookz
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Reading this made me cry ugly tears... #heartbreaker #ANewChapter
@vkois88 @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Awww ❤️❤️❤️ 13mo
vkois88 Oh my goodness, it definitely sounds good and the cover is amazing 13mo
60 likes3 comments
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thebookishtype15
Pickpick

This was cute and full of love and passion. It's not a favorite of mine but its still good and thoughtful and makes me want to read more about the animals in the world

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Jee_HookedOnBookz
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Pickpick

You have to start your new year with this moving, inspiring & honest memoir! Reading this is like watching a documentary on TV, only this one, you'll feel the author's love, passion & emotions. I met the most amazing creatures, from the tenacious border collies to furry giant tarantulas, & ones I've never heard of before like the mountain cuscus, pademelons, dorcopsis, Matschie's tree kangaroos! A must-read! Animal lover or not! ❤️
#0119JeeReads01

53 likes3 stack adds
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JanuarieTimewalker13
Pickpick

Sweet book about Sy Montgomery‘s research trips with animals and her own animals at home. I had previously read A Good, Good Pig and absolutely loved Christoper Hogwood.
This was an interesting exploration into different parts of the world also. 4⭐️

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feminismandyoga
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Pickpick

This is a beautiful book. I cried a few more times than I expected but I loved it. I loved the array of animals included here too and the different ways or reasons that Montgomery had for interacting with them. I had no idea that you could just volunteer to assist a study somewhere. It's on my bucket list now.
This short memoir is gorgeous and one that any adult or youth could enjoy. I don't think most kids would enjoy it though.

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UnabridgedPod
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Pickpick

Lovely memoir told through the lens of the author's interaction with animals, both her pets and those she studies as a writer and scientist. Sy Montgomery's compassion and love are clear, and I was moved by her memories, particularly, of her dogs. I really enjoyed the author's narration (on #scribd).⠀

11 likes1 comment
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lauralovesbooks1
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Pickpick

I'm a big fan of Montgomery's work - Soul of an Octopus is one of my all time favorites. In How To Be A Good Creature, she writes a memoir told through stories about 13 animals that have taught her something and changed her life. Endearing and charming.

DGRachel I‘m looking forward to this one. I loved Soul of an Octopus! 🐙🐙 14mo
lauralovesbooks1 @DGRachel I love that octopus emoji! 14mo
26 likes2 comments
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CaitZ
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1. Pizza (it's dinner time)
2. Can of Coke
3. Memoir
4. Had Tater Tots a couple of weeks ago
5. Nope!

@MinDea #humpdaypost

jillannjohn 😂😂 14mo
Eyelit Love it! 🤣 14mo
25 likes2 comments
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faelinwolf

This is the gift great souls leave us when they die. They enlarge our hearts. They leave us a greater capacity for love.

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BookNAround
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This should be a quick read for one more non-fiction November choice. Gatsby is already a good creature but I can use help figuring it out. #schnauzersoflitsy

dgingo He‘s adorable! 14mo
Reecaspieces Cutie patootie 14mo
mreads 🐕❤ 14mo
TheSpineView I see your reading buddy is ready. 14mo
97 likes4 comments
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CaitZ
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Pickpick

I decided to spend the day waiting for the "blizzard" by reading. Sy Montgomery is one of my favorite authors. In this quick read, she looks back at animals she's known and how they have impacted her life. I enjoyed it and would recommend it to animal lovers.

It's a little past 7pm in the southwest suburbs of Chicago and just starting to snow. Time for dinner and football. I don't have to go anywhere tomorrow, I'll worry about shoveling then.

Ddzmini 🐢😍🥰 1y
19 likes1 comment
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SkeletonKey
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Pickpick

Spent the morning finishing this up and recovering from the trip to West Virginia.

The illustrations in this book are absolutely gorgeous. The book itself is a really quick read about a dozen or so animal experiences the author has had that taught her life lessons. She‘s led a very interesting life.

#animallovers #memoir

DGRachel I came *this* close to buying this at B&N yesterday. 🤦🏻‍♀️ 1y
SkeletonKey @DGRachel - More reasons to return! 1y
34 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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SkeletonKey
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I spent the morning reading half of the tagged book and then went hiking. How was everyone‘s Friday?

#blackfriday #nature

jmofo That sounds perfect! 😃 I wanted to go for a walk with my roommate today but he‘s bought a new roommate (a playstation) so I had a day of book binding and sewing and not writing for NaNo, even though I‘m behind. 🙄 1y
readordierachel Looks like a gorgeous spot for a hike! 1y
SkeletonKey @jmofo - Good luck with NaNo! Book binding sounds pretty nice too. 1y
SkeletonKey @readordierachel - It‘s amazing! When there isn‘t snow, the whole forest bed is moss. 1y
35 likes1 stack add4 comments
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ChasingOm
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Pickpick

This was a perfect book to read on a lazy Thanksgiving morning. (We‘re going to my fiancé‘s grandma‘s for dinner, so no cooking for me!) There are sad moments, for sure, but the overall feel of the book is one of being thankful for the animals in our lives, no matter how long we might have with them.

Bo was himself a good creature in posing for this picture. ? #dogsofLitsy

DGRachel Such a handsome boy! 1y
30 likes1 comment
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WanderingBookaneer
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Lunch pairing

8leagueboot Just got this one in the mail! Can‘t wait to read it! 1y
91 likes4 stack adds1 comment
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ElenaBaer
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I am really enjoying this so far. Life lessons from the animals that have influenced her writing and her life.

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SkeletonKey
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Going to read this once my #screamathon is over. I think I need some feel-good given how upsetting the news is and all.

#memoir

32 likes5 stack adds