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In the Country
In the Country: Stories | Mia Alvar
60 posts | 43 read | 144 to read
These nine globe-trotting, unforgettable stories from Mia Alvar, a remarkable new literary talent, vividly give voice to the women and men of the Filipino diaspora. Here are exiles, emigrants, and wanderers uprooting their families from the Philippines to begin new lives in the Middle East, the United States, and elsewhereand, sometimes, turning back again. A pharmacist living in New York smuggles drugs to his ailing father in Manila, only to discover alarming truths about his family and his past. In Bahrain, a Filipina teacher drawn to a special pupil finds, to her surprise, that she is questioning her own marriage. A college student leans on her brother, a laborer in Saudi Arabia, to support her writing ambitions, without realizing that his is the life truly made for fiction. And in the title story, a journalist and a nurse face an unspeakable trauma amidst the political turmoil of the Philippines in the 1970s and 80s. In the Country speaks to the heart of everyone who has ever searched for a place to call home. From teachers to housemaids, from mothers to sons, Alvars powerful debut collection explores the universal experiences of loss, displacement, and the longing to connect across borders both real and imagined. Deeply compassionate and richly felt, In the Country marks the emergence of a formidable new writer.From the Hardcover edition.
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Picaveli
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Pickpick

✌️

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TheBookAddict
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I can‘t stop saying how great this book is. Not only does it introduce the reader to a culture and a people that most us don‘t know much about, but it also shows us the diversity in the author‘s storytelling abilities. Beautifully written and a glimpse into another world. I had never heard of this book before nor this author so I am glad I stumbled upon it. A great short story collection that is a great read. #24in48 #undertheradar

TheBookAddict Also, #TookeyToles was being a bit of a diva. She didn‘t want to look at the camera... 😔 #catsoflitsy #littenkitten #mybrat #TolesBrats #24in48readathon #readathon #undertheradarbooks 1y
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TheBookAddict
Pickpick

Wow, this is a beautifully written collection of short stories. I loved that it gave me a glimpse into a culture and a people that I did not know much about. All I knew about Philippine people was that they were very smart and hard working people (at least the two older ladies that I knew from my childhood). It‘s definitely a must read.

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TheBookAddict

“They can torch your house and rob you blind, but they can‘t take Education from you.”

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WanderingBookaneer
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Almost done with my current read and then I‘ll only have 3 books left on the #LitsyReadingChallenge #BuJo

jessberk13 Wow!! Awesome job! 2y
WanderingBookaneer @jessberk13 : Thanks! ☺️ 2y
106 likes2 comments
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ValkyrieAndHerBooks
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Pickpick

This has been a long read for me. I‘ve been reading one short story at a time, switching between my hardcopy and Audible. It‘s beautifully written and has been an interesting read. Also, it ended up working for 3 of my challenges. 😁

#BookWithAViewpointOfAnImmigrant @thereadingwomen #ReadingWomenChallenge

#LetterI #LitsyAtoZ @BookishMarginalia

#POCauthor #Booked2018 @4thhouseontheleft @BarbaraTheBibliophage @Cinfhen

#GloryToTheGuild

kochtob this looks interesting! 2y
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Cinfhen
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#NuYear #ReadingResolutions Even though I own dozens of unread books 📚 📚 📚 📚 I still #desire to own more #greed...here‘s a few on my #wishlist....the tagged book was my very first Litsy Book I #stacked ❤️😊

Reggie Way to shoot all the birds with one stone. Lol 2y
batsy Nice! The tagged book was my first Net Galley request and I still haven't read it 😳😳😳 #imtheworst 2y
Cinfhen Ha! Now I feel much better about my neglected ARCs😂 @batsy Thanks @Reggie sometimes the prompts align themselves beautifully ❣️ 2y
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Cathythoughts The picture is beautifully done ✨✨👍 2y
TrishB Well played 👍🏻😁 same here...... 2y
Redwritinghood I‘ve been eyeing If All The Seas Were Ink too. Sounds like an interesting read. 2y
Reviewsbylola I‘ve been wanting to read Confessions! 2y
ValerieAndBooks Books may be the only time greed is good😂 2y
Cinfhen Hehehe 😂😂truth❣️❣️❣️ @ValerieAndBooks 2y
emilyhaldi Always need moreeeee!!! 2y
GatheringBooks i live for books that i have yet to buy and those that i have yet to read from my shelves. :) 2y
Cinfhen I think I might have stacked the tagged book from your post @GatheringBooks 🙌🏻❣️😘 2y
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TheBookAddict
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I spent a few hours reading this (I‘m a slow reader). And oh my, I felt so sad for Esmeralda. I just wanted to 😭. I just wanted her to have something to make her happy. It also made me think of how real people‘s lives were impacted on that terrible day😢. Having #mybrats close by helped me keep it together. #TnT #TwinkyToles #TookeyToles #Littenkitten #catsoflitsy #gingerbrat

cariashley Gah the Esmeralda story gutted me 😢 2y
Tanzy13 🐱 2y
Cinsai 😽 2y
TheBookAddict @cariashley yeah, I just wanted to hold her and take her away from all that pain, physical and emotional. 2y
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TheBookAddict
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So far so good.

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TheBookAddict
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I think I‘m unintentionally going on a short story collection kick. I just finished reading Ten Little Indians, which was a short story collection and the first short story collection that I read. Now I‘m off to read this short story collection.

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cariashley
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Pickpick

I loved this debut collection of deeply moving stories about the Filipino diaspora. "Esmeralda" in particular slayed me, but they're all a gut punch, in a good way. Alvar went to my high school and I'm so proud of my fellow alum, can't wait to see what she does next.

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lauralovesbooks1
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Pickpick

Excellent collection of short stories about the Phillipines and the impact of the Diaspora on it's people.

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lauralovesbooks1
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Loving this collection of short stories! #birthdayspace @Liberty

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bedandabook
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Loving this wonderfully wise collection of short stories which are filled with beautiful gems like this, and savouring the fact that I'm only half way through them.

emtobiasz Whew. This story broke me, in a wonderful way, but I had to put the collection down for a while. I should really pick it back up and finish it. 2y
bedandabook I can understand that, @emtobiasz. It broke my heart too, although all the stories are touching me deeply. I don't want her wonderful writing to end. 2y
cariashley @bedandabook @emtobiasz just finished this story and wow. So good but devastating. 2y
bedandabook @cariashley I agree. Such powerful writing. These stories have stayed with me and I'm regretting giving them away to a good friend when I finished. I might just have to buy another copy to keep! 2y
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EllieDottie
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I got this #bookmail today from the reading women store! I'm super excited! I heard about this on the @thereadingwomen podcast and I was very interested because I lived in Bahrain for a few years, and had a few Filipino friends but I have never read fiction story that takes place there and has a Filipino main character. Also I think this is her debut collection so this qualifies as a #newauthor! #splashintosummerreads

EllieDottie Also the blanket the book is on I bought in Bahrain! 3y
Megabooks This book is so good! 3y
thereadingwomen Wonderful! Hope you love it. 3y
EllieDottie @Booksandcooks Yay!! I'm so excited! 3y
65 likes4 comments
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ValkyrieAndHerBooks
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I'm so excited! I just got my first purchase from @thereadingwomen online bookstore! #BookMailIsBestMail! I can't wait to read this collection of short stories!

If you haven't checked out the Reading Women podcast, yet, you really should! @autumnprivett and @kdwinchester are insightful and entertaining hosts and their book discussions are fantastic! 📚💕

Moonpa These are wonderful short stories - enjoy! 3y
thereadingwomen Thank you SO much! We hope you enjoy it. 😘 3y
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thereadingwomen
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This quote is from "The Miracle Worker" from Mia Alvar's collection IN THE COUNTRY. It's one of our favorite stories from this book about Filippino immigrants. Download Ep. 22 to hear our full discussion about this excellent collection of #shortstories. ⠀
#thereadingwomen
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#miaalvar #shortstory #fictionaddiction #reading #bookish #igreads #bookstagram #quoteoftheday #quote

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thereadingwomen
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Pickpick

IN THE COUNTRY is one of the books we are discussing on Ep. 22: In the Country of Maladies. It's a collection of stories about Philipinos living in their homeland, America, and Saudi Arabia. Each story had me re-evaluating my perception of immigrant stories and the places they leave behind. ⠀

Have you read it? What did you think? Do you have any favorite #shortstory collections?⠀

P.S. Enter to win a copy of this book on our Instagram account.

Lacythebookworm One of my favorite short story collections is 3y
thereadingwomen @Lacythebookworm I've wanted to read that! Thanks for reminding me. 😊 - A 3y
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thereadingwomen
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Happy Saturday! We have a giveaway happening over on Instagram....

https://instagram.com/p/BUUTf3qghv3/

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thereadingwomen
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Pickpick

Episode 22 is LIVE 🎉 In part 2 of our month of short stories, we are discussing THE INTERPRETER OF MALADIES and IN THE COUNTRY. Both of these books are filled with stories of people who are trying to find a home in places that are not always welcoming them with open arms. ⠀

Download the latest episode and then let us know what you think about these books in the comments.

https://goo.gl/3Vixh1

nelehelen Love them both 3y
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thereadingwomen
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Today on the blog is the Meet the Authors post. We include a short bio, links to their social media pages, and a handful of articles about them and their work. One of the authors we're highlighting this month is Mia Alvar, whose short story collection IN THE COUNTRY tells about the lives of Philippine immigrants living in America and Saudi Arabia as well as the stories of those who stayed home. Link below!

https://goo.gl/u9kNpY

Megabooks Everyone should read this book! 3y
thereadingwomen @Booksandcooks Agreed. It's an amazing collection of stories. 3y
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RealLifeReading
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I haven't read many Filipino authors but I really liked this collection of stories about Filipino diaspora in places like the Middle East and the US, including some set in the Philippines #setinsoutheastasia #aprilbookshowers

JanuarieTimewalker13 I heard about this book from a booktuber, can't remember who. I'm interested too! 3y
Megabooks Loved this book! 3y
BellaBookNook I bought it when it first came out but haven't read it yet. Thanks for the reminder. 3y
LauraTFrey I found it a little uneven, but the good stories were *real* good. 3y
Chachic I haven't read this one but yay #Filipinoauthors! 3y
138 likes10 stack adds5 comments
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rach_simone
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#FeistyFeb This is a stunning collection of short stories, many with a #WorkplaceSetting . I am on the edge of my seat waiting for more from Mia Alvar!

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chowmeyow
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A needed temporary shift to fiction.

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cariashley
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Just got my high school alumnae magazine and thrilled to see Mia Alvar featured. I didn't know her (I got there the year after she graduated) but I do know her mother, who's been prominent at the school forever, and I'm so proud of a fellow alumna's success. I have her book but have been saving it; need to read it soon!

ValerieAndBooks How cool!! 3y
Lacythebookworm Neato!😊 3y
Reviewsbylola Very cool! 3y
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Petitesmerveilles
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Pickpick

2017 is off to a great start with this collection of superbly written stories. They are by turns moving, funny and heartbreaking. Highly recommend! #januaryread #2017books

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bellasocks
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..loved Kontrabida which I read through Season of Stories so reading the entire collection in a must!

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BamBamSushi
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This is the start of my '17 Book Challenge. I want as many of them to be by diverse authors and about diverse characters. Here is what I have so far:
Read 12 banned books
Read 4 essay collections
Read 4 nonfiction books relevant to today's cultural and political climate
Read 12 of your oldest book in my TBR pile
Read one science book. Read 4 short story collections. Other suggestions?

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rach_simone
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#SeasonsReadings2016 Some of my favorite books of the year! #WeNeedDiverseBooks

saresmoore Yes! Great picks. 3y
Laura317 Several of those are on my tbr list! 3y
Karen_V I ❤️❤️❤️ Everything I Never Told You 3y
25 likes3 comments
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irre
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Had a bad day at work, but came home to some great #bookmail Feeling better already! 💕📖💕

Notafraidofwords Great stack! 3y
Reviewsbylola Sorry your day sucked but that definitely helped improve it I'm sure!! 3y
Hooked_on_books That IS great bookmail! 📚💚 3y
Megabooks In the Country is so good! 3y
31 likes1 stack add4 comments
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lisan.abq
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Pickpick

I LOVE this book and not just because my husband was born in the Philippines. Today I reread the story "Old Girl" which is about Corazon Aquino, who became the first female president of the Philippines and all of Asia. Her husband was assassinated by the Marcos regime. It takes a certain bravery to return to the country you left behind to make it better, even knowing you face certain death. Today she is an inspiration to me. #hereforthebooks

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half_book_and_co
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Pickpick

This is a really impressive debut short story collection. Alvar follows migrants from the Philippines visiting home, expats in Bahrain and the people who never leave. Even though the tone in this stories is quite similiar, plot and characters are very distinct. There is the young man who steals medication for his dying, violent father, the politician training for the marathon & the creative writing student, whose brother has left for Saudi Arabia.

WOCreads This sounds fantastic! Definitely on my tbr!📚📚 3y
8 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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half_book_and_co
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CityLitBooks
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The In Brief book club is meeting Tuesday night at 7 to talk about Mia Alvar's "In the Country" Grab your copy here and plop down with these short stories for your #weekendreading



#citylitbooks #logansquare #chicago #igreads #new #favorite #book #bookstagram #weekend #reading #inbrief #bookclub #october #weekendreads

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rachellayown
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Pickpick

This collection of short stories isn't exactly light reading, but it's definitely worth checking out. Mia Alvar is a very talented writer and one who is now on my radar. A strong collection indeed.

37 likes3 stack adds
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rachellayown
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It's a lovely day for reading.

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rach_simone
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September reading recap!

brendanmleonard Congrats! 3y
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bookandcat
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someone is happy I brought home books and a nice new tote bag to hug... #morristownfestivalofbooks #bookandcat #catsoflitsy

BookBabe 😻 3y
MrBook 😻😻😻 3y
7 likes2 comments
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TheBookAddict
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Ok, my Litsy peeps, fellow book nerds, I need some help. I am wondering if any of you know of an awesome app that is great for tracking the books that I have in my personal library. It is kind of tough to remember which books I have already purchased, since I have two full big book cases and another two full smaller ones, so I end up buying repeats sometimes. I would like to be able to scan the books into and then make a search for a title. Thanks

Eyelit I use librarything - and it suits my purposes just fine. but there are probably newer and better apps out there. 3y
TheBookAddict @Eyelit thanks, I shall look into it. 😊 3y
Smrloomis I use Goodreads and you can scan titles, but maybe there are other nicer apps out there? 3y
See All 9 Comments
Penny_LiteraryHoarders I downloaded Libib for this. 3y
TheBookAddict @Smrloomis thanks, I have Goodreads. I'm looking for an app that's just focused on just having my library in it. 3y
TheBookAddict @Penny_LiteraryHoarders thanks, I'll look into it. 😊 3y
queerbookreader I just made a "books I own" shelf on goodreads and search that shelf when I'm looking for a title 3y
LeeRHarry I use bookbuddy 3y
TheBookAddict @LeeRHarry thanks, looked it up and it looks like it's a really good one. It costs $4.99 so I'll wait to see how libib works. Thanks! 3y
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mllemay
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Pickpick

Every single story in this collection is amazing and also a gut-punch. All the humanity packed into this, it's just incredible. I finished the last story the way I finished the first, with a big lump in my throat, wondering how tears showed up without me realizing.

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mllemay
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#augustofpages #bookphotochallenge some short stories and some non-fiction for me #currentlyreading hoping to finish both this weekend

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Jaimie
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Pickpick

This book! The stories were beautiful and poignant and real. I really want to learn more about the history of the Philippines now. The stories take you inside a different culture and inside people looking in on that culture. I highly recommend this book.

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Jaimie
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I love all this about Boston, too. Not that I've ever actually gone skating on Frog Pond. But I like the idea of it. :)

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Jaimie

I love all this about Boston, too. Not that I've ever actually gone skating on Frog Pond. But I like the idea of it. :)

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aipohaku
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Afternoon in the park

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mllemay
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I miss reading 😫 I'm in full blown memorization crunch time before the Bar exam next week so no fun reading for me. Can't wait to get back to all these books! Living vicariously through everyone's posts on here in the meantime 🤓

moranadatter Good luck! 3y
britt_brooke Best of luck!! 🍀 3y
Laura317 Good luck! You've got this! 🍀 3y
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Jenshootsweddings Good luck!! ❤️📚⚖ 3y
SusanInTiburon Been there! You're doing it right. Best wishes to you. 3y
tkingsanchez Good Luck! 3y
mllemay @tkingsanchez @SusanInTiburon @Jenshootsweddings @Laura317 @britt_brooke @kmdartist thank you so much for your kind words you guys! They mean a lot 😊 3y
overlyattachedreader Good luck with your exam! 3y
KVanRead Good luck and hang in there. 'All the books' will be waiting for you when you're done.🍀🍀🍀 3y
TheWellReadOwl Good luck! 3y
CaitlinSiem But think of all the fun binge reading you can have after you finish rocking that bar exam! You got this! 💪🏼 3y
BookishFeminist The bar exam sucks, but it'll be over soon & you'll be back to reading in no time. Audiobooks got me through my studying breaks so I didn't feel like I was punishing myself. Good luck!!! 💕🍀 3y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa Look at the bounty awaiting you at the finish line! You got this! 3y
mllemay @Taryn @KVanRead @TheWellReadOwl @CaitlinSiem @BookishFeminist @Riveted_Reader_Melissa thank you!! I'm keeping my eye on the prize aka piles and piles of books 😂😂😍 3y
31 likes14 comments
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jeff
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Pickpick

Fascinated by the characters in this debut short story collection. Alvar's voice is powerful and provides a window to Filipino culture. Can't wait for her first novel. #recommendsday #wcw

kdwinchester I LOVED this book! The stories feel so haunting all in different ways. ❤️ 3y
BookMusings Definitely a fave from last year! 3y
Megabooks Agreed! Excellent book! 3y
BookishFeminist Such a great book! I want to reread it soon. 3y
kaitlyn Just started this yesterday. Loving it so far. 3y
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alisonrose
Pickpick

A very strong collection of short stories - exploring issues of politics, immigration, class, love and loss, with a clear and poignant voice. I also appreciate the length of the stories and the different life experiences we witness. 5/5 ⭐️