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Happiness Falls
Happiness Falls: A Novel | Angie Kim
37 posts | 30 read | 21 to read
When a father goes missing, his familys desperate search leads them to question everything they know about him and one anotherboth a riveting page-turner and a deeply moving portrait of a family in crisis from the award-winning author of Miracle Creek Brilliant, immersive, and deeply moving, Happiness Falls is more than just a fantastic story well told. Its a book that will change the way you thinka book that will change your life.Julia Phillips, bestselling author of Disappearing Earth, finalist for the National Book Award We didn't call the police right away. Those are the first words of this extraordinary novel about a biracial Korean-American family in Virginia whose lives are upended when their beloved father and husband goes missing. Mia, the irreverent, hyperanalytical twenty-year-old daughter, has an explanation for everythingwhich is why she isnt initially concerned when her father and younger brother Eugene dont return from a walk in a nearby park. They must have lost their phone. Or stopped for an errand somewhere. But by the time Mias brother runs through the front door bloody and alone, it becomes clear that the father in this tight-knit family is missing and the only witness is Eugene, who has the rare genetic condition Angelman syndrome and cannot speak. What follows is both a ticking-clock investigation into the whereabouts of a father and an emotionally rich portrait of a family whose most personal secrets just may be at the heart of his disappearance. Full of shocking twists and fascinating questions of love, language, race, and human connection, Happiness Falls is a mystery, a family drama, and a novel of profound philosophical inquiry. With all the powerful storytelling she brought to her award-winning debut Miracle Creek, Angie Kim turns the missing person story into something wholly original, creating an indelible tale of a family who must go to remarkable lengths to truly understand one another.
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BarbaraJean
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Pickpick

This had the feel of a fast-paced mystery, but brought up so many intriguing ideas about language and speech and intelligence and the assumptions we make about all of the above. It kept me turning the pages, but also thinking deeply about the issues it raised. I felt similarly about Miracle Creek—now I‘m in for whatever Angie Kim writes!

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Bookwormjillk
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Pickpick

I‘ve been trying to figure out all day what to say about this. I ended up with this is a good book so long as you‘re okay with it being about something other than you thought it was supposed to be about.

Curious now to go back and see how it did in the #LitsyTOB

BarbaraBB I liked this one more than I expected based on reviews here and #LitsyToB probably added to that! 1mo
Megabooks I was not wild about this one. I found the daughter really annoying! 😬😬 1mo
Bookwormjillk @Megabooks yes she was! But for some reason that was part of the charm for me. 1mo
squirrelbrain I had mixed feelings about this - I enjoyed parts of it, but felt it dragged in places. 1mo
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SonyaBeatty
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"It‘s funny with siblings, how you think of them as just there, but then something great or awful happens that unearths and makes visible what Koreans call jeong. It‘s hard to explain in English; it‘s not any particular emotion—not affection or even love—but a complex bond defined by its depth and history: that sense of belonging to the same whole, your fates intertwined, impossible to sever no matter how much you may want to."

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Bookwormjillk
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No spoilers please but I am enjoying this a quarter way through and help us all if we don‘t find out what happens to the father at the end I will go scorched earth on this audiobook.

Tamra 🤭 1mo
55 likes1 comment
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CatMS
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Liking this book, different than Miracle Creek, still deals with special needs children.

Cathythoughts Different from Miracle Creek 👍🏻 On reflection , I preferred Miracle, but both are very good ♥️♥️ 2mo
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BarbaraBB
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Pickpick

#LitsyToB24
Although I found the book too long and narrator Mia drove me crazy at times I really enjoyed this book. I went in looking for answers to what happened to Mia‘s father after her little brother Eugene, who has autism and angelman syndrome and can‘t talk, comes home alone, totally upset. Later on I realized the story is not about getting answers but about communication and perception and I really liked what Kim Angie so thoroughly did.

TheAromaofBooks Great review!!! 4mo
Librarybelle Echoing @TheAromaofBooks …great review! 4mo
See All 12 Comments
Jas16 Glad you ended up liking enjoying it. Great review. 4mo
sarahbarnes Great review! 4mo
Deblovestoread Glad it worked for you! 4mo
BarbaraBB @Jas16 @Deblovestoread I enjoyed it more than I expected. Definitely a pick for me! I am curious to see where it‘ll end up in our tournament! 4mo
Hooked_on_books I really liked this one, too! I actually really liked Mia. There are things about her that remind her of a younger me, so I felt tender toward her. 4mo
Kristy_K Great review! I had the same experience and thoughts. 🙂 (edited) 4mo
Ruthiella Great review. It was frustrating to read at times but I think you are right that the author wasn‘t going for a thriller but more about assumptions humans based on our ability or inability to communicate. 4mo
Cathythoughts Great review 👍🏻 I enjoyed this one too. 4mo
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BarbaraBB
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#WeeklyForecast 10/24

Since taking this photo I‘ve already finished Snow Road Stayion, a lovely read. Review will follow.
I am now starting the tagged book, my ultimate one for #LitsyToB24. I‘ve also had an early start with our next #EuropaCollective book, The Postcard. It‘s fantastic and heartbreaking, as to be expected.

Cathythoughts I enjoyed Happiness Falls. 👍🏻❤️ 4mo
Tamra I think I‘ll start Postcard today too, but I‘m having a bit of hangover from North Woods. I was having difficulty sticking with a book. 4mo
BarbaraBB North woods was good indeed. I do think you‘ll have no problem sticking with The Postcard though. 4mo
74 likes3 comments
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BkClubCare
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Trying valiantly to get into this. I have been on page 16 for days and days. #sigh

thegirlwiththelibrarybag Permission to bail! Don‘t let it put you in a book slump. 4mo
AmyG Yeah, alot of non-essential minutiae for my taste. #hailthebail 4mo
CBee I think pup agrees, you should bail 😂 4mo
See All 21 Comments
fredthemoose The beginning and end dragged for me, but I found the middle 70-80% pretty good. But by all means, if you‘re feeling the bail, go with it! 4mo
Tamra Yes, too many digressions. I held out only to solve the mystery. I did like the nonverbal character storyline in the end. 4mo
Tamra I can tell you how it ends in a separate hidden comment if you decide to bail. 4mo
dabbe 🖤🐾🖤 4mo
dabbe #hailthebail! 🤩🤩🤩 4mo
Deblovestoread I finished but can‘t say it was worth the effort🤷🏻‍♀️ 4mo
cariashley This one fell totally flat for me, so can‘t tell you it‘ll get better. 4mo
BkClubCare @cariashley - wow! Thanks ☺️ 4mo
BkClubCare @Tamra - interesting; I just might have to go search for a spoileriffic review 🤣 4mo
BkClubCare @Deblovestoread - good enough for me! Ty 4mo
BkClubCare @dabbe 😍😍😍 4mo
BkClubCare @Tamra - ack! Hadn‘t read both your comments 🤦🏻‍♀️ Sure! Bring it. You‘ll be doing me a favor. I owe you 🥰 4mo
BkClubCare @fredthemoose - I appreciate the support. 🤗 4mo
BkClubCare @AmyG - it‘s been 20 pages and we are still circling the issue! Dad is gone - let‘s DO something already 4mo
BkClubCare @CBee - Copper wants to got for a walk already. 🐕 4mo
Tamra @BkClubCare presumably the father falls off a ledge into the river in a park saving his son from falling first. That is presumed to be the case because that is what the son communicates via a letter board, but it‘s ultimately left as somewhat of a question. The son was under suspicion by the law for a time. Unbeknownst to the family, the father & son were working with a legit therapist who specialized in spelling boards for nonverbal individuals. 4mo
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Susanita
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It took a while for me to get into this, and then when I did Libby snatched it back! I finally got it back and finished it quickly. It‘s a very compelling story that deals with much more than the mystery of a missing person.

This was one of 8 unfinished Kindle/Libby books that I carried over from 2023, and that number is down to three. I also finished another one earlier in the month and decided to abandon three of the rest. More on that later!

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kbuggle
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Pickpick

this story has a missing-person-mystery, but like Miracle Creek, it‘s more about a family looking for answers. a really great sophomore novel #botm

BarbaraBB You‘ve read a lot 😀 5mo
kbuggle @BarbaraBB 😂 i really have to try and be better about updating and posting as i go! These all caught up to me at once, hence the many many posts 🙈 5mo
BarbaraBB Many good ones 💜 5mo
11 likes3 comments
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janeycanuck
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A mystery where the mystery isn‘t the point of the story

#12booksof2023

Andrew65 Looks a good book. 5mo
mabell Passed out! 😄🥰 5mo
43 likes2 comments
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Susanita
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This book is about a #missingperson and family dynamics and disability and more. It‘s an interesting story but one I can only read in small doses at the moment. While I made some progress, I didn‘t finish it during the #yearend readathon, and Libby has snatched it back for another month or so. There‘s still time to finish something else for the readathon…
#newyearnewbooks

Eggs I need to read this one soon… 5mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks On my shelf! 5mo
Andrew65 Looks good. 5mo
25 likes3 comments
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Centique
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Pickpick

I stayed up reading past midnight (happy new year!) so i could finish my 90th book for 2023. This is not a genre i typically read so it was a nice change, and i was completely engaged - but I had to gloss over things i thought were heavy handed. In the police/detective novels i read theres more logic perhaps, & not as much emotional investment btw investigator/victim/suspect - it is quite fun to have more personal “secrets” in this genre. ⬇️

Centique In the end ill probably stick to my detective novels but a good 3.5 star fun read 5mo
Bookzombie Happy New Year! 5mo
Ruthiella Happy New Year to you! 🥳 5mo
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batsy Happy New Year, Paula! 💫 5mo
Centique Happy new year all you lovely littens 😘 @Bookzombie @Ruthiella @batsy 5mo
Reggie Happy New Year, Paula! 5mo
RohitSawant Happy New Year! 🎆🥂 5mo
Rissreads Happy 2024! 🎆 5mo
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janeycanuck
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Pickpick

A mystery where the mystery is not the point of the story. I really enjoyed this - even more than Miracle Creek, I think? I found this completely riveting, I just got sucked in and didn‘t want to put it down.

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BookBelle84
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Book Advent Day 9! I loved Miracle Creek, so I have high hopes for this one.

BittersweetBooks Loved this one, enjoy!! 6mo
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Susanita
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For the #DashingDecember readathon I want to finish the tagged book. It‘s not due until the end of the month, but Libby tells me that three people are waiting for it. Since I had to check it out a second time, I figure if I return it early that will help balance the Libby karma.

Andrew65 Best of luck 😁 6mo
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
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#Redstack
#HumbleHarvest

❤️📚❤️📚❤️📚

Eggs Excited to start Happiness Falls! 7mo
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BittersweetBooks
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Our brains are hardwired to want resolution, to want the answer 🧠

Optimism is like ice cream: as much as I try to remind myself it‘s bad for me and I should stay away, I‘m human, can‘t help a tiny taste, and the next thing you know, I‘m digging into the whole carton, gulping it down, and it always ends with me feeling sick and wanting to throw up 🍦

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Great photo 🍂🍁 8mo
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Cathythoughts
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Pickpick

I enjoyed Miracle Creek by Angie Kim.. and I really enjoyed this new book of hers too. Set during covid ( something that didn‘t appeal to me before reading ) But done in a natural , intelligent way. It worked very well with images and layers of meaning around the idea of masks and isolation. An absolute page turner for me, I sank into the lives of this amazing family, whose son Eugene has autism and angel syndrome. A great mystery story.

Tamra Ohhh, will check out! 😁 8mo
BooksNBowls I still can‘t read COVID books yet. I read The Sentence and had PTSD lol 8mo
Cathythoughts @Tamra It‘s good 👍🏻 8mo
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Cathythoughts @BooksNBowls I hear you ! I think this is written in an interesting way regarding covid. 8mo
BooksNBowls @Cathythoughts I‘ll definitely check it out eventually. Miracle Creek has been on my TBR for a while now. Might read that one first since you said it was good! 8mo
Cathythoughts @BooksNBowls I enjoy her writing, I hope you will too 🤞🏻 8mo
LiteraryinLawrence I agree, I liked this one a lot! 8mo
Cathythoughts @LiteraryinLawrence Yes ! 👍🏻♥️ 8mo
LeahBergen You look like you‘re having a nice, cozy evening! 😊 8mo
Cathythoughts @LeahBergen Yes I am 😁 X 8mo
batsy Nice review! Sounds good 💙 8mo
CarolynM Sounds good. Stacked🙂 Hope you‘re enjoying Ireland‘s World Cup performance so far. I cheering for them to win🙌💪 8mo
Cathythoughts @batsy Thanks ! Yes I enjoyed reading it 👍🏻❤️ 8mo
Cathythoughts @CarolynM We are not doing too bad at all 👍🏻😀🤞🏻 8mo
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Chelsea.Poole
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Pickpick

I couldn‘t stop listening to this audiobook! I loved the perspective from an older sister who‘s father goes missing while out with her little brother…..who doesn‘t speak. I learned about how frustrating it must be for those who have thoughts but are unable to communicate them and the therapy available to help. A novel about familial love and support, also set during the pandemic. I loved it! And this cover 😍

AmyG Good to know this is a good one. 9mo
LatrelWhite It‘s also the Barnes & Noble Bookclub pick!💕 9mo
JuniperWilde Great cover for sure 9mo
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Hooked_on_books
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Pickpick

I loved this one! I was sucked in immediately and did not want to put it down (I had to force myself to go to bed in the middle). The story, the voice, the characters, all fabulous. I‘d be hard pressed to say if this or Miracle Creek is better. I‘m a true believer in Angie Kim!

Libby1 Gorgeous cover. 9mo
RaeLovesToRead Love the cover. Wish we had BOTM in the UK! ☺️ 9mo
BarbaraBB Oh wow, that‘s a completely different review than that by @Cinfhen ! Now I am curious again! 9mo
See All 6 Comments
Cinfhen I WAS SO DISAPPOINTED with this book! I couldn‘t stand the voice of Mia - she was so exasperating for me - and the book moved at a snail‘s pace. I also hated the footnotes at the end of every chapter. Ugh, I really feel like I‘m an outlier @BarbaraBB although I think @Megabooks wasn‘t a fan either. Personally, I don‘t think you‘d like this book @BarbaraBB 🤷🏼‍♀️ 9mo
Hooked_on_books @BarbaraBB @Cinfhen it‘s definitely the case with this book that if you don‘t like the voice of the narrator, you won‘t like the book. For me, I could see my younger self in that character (we aren‘t the same, just aspects), which led me to feel tender toward her and I really liked the voice. She‘s at that stage of not being a true adult yet but no longer a child and needing to prove herself. I loved the whole family. 9mo
Cinfhen I can see that - im glad you loved this book 📚 it‘s getting loads of good reviews 9mo
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LiteraryinLawrence
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Here is my wrap up from August‘s #bookspinbingo board! Favorite was the tagged book. I managed one bingo this month and 11 total books. A lot of so-so ratings from me, so I‘m hoping for all Picks next month! As usual, I did not read the bookspin or doublespin books; I‘ve learned I don‘t like being “told” what to read, even if I myself put that book on the list a few days before. 🤷🏻‍♀️😂

TheAromaofBooks Yay!! Fabulous month!! August seems to have been a so-so sort of month 😂 9mo
51 likes2 comments
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BoleyBooks
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LiteraryinLawrence
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Pickpick

A definite Pick for me, enthusiastically! I know there have been mixed feelings on this one, but I liked the originality of the plot, the quirky storytelling style of the protagonist Mia, the cultural and linguistic musings, the mystery element, the disability rep, and the family relationships. I‘ll be recommending this widely so I‘m glad I own it through #botm!

Tara really looking forward to this one! 10mo
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Eringogreen
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I‘m curious, how many times is the word “infuriating” used?

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Megabooks
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Mehso-so

Eh. I didn‘t enjoy this nearly as much as Miracle Creek. I think most of it was the young, overeager narrator. But I do appreciate Kim‘s thorough research! Minor #SophomoreSlump

Mia‘s dad has gone missing, and her brother, who has nonverbal autism and Angelman Syndrome, is the main suspect. Kim examines how the justice system treats disabled children and how this impacts the family during the pandemic. #botm

Cinfhen This was a pan for me. Really disappointing 😝 10mo
Megabooks @Cinfhen I‘ll still read her third book but probably #BorrowNotBuy 10mo
Cinfhen Yeah, she‘s not a bad writer….you‘re right - definitely a #SophomoreSlump 10mo
LiteraryinLawrence That‘s so interesting- I really liked it! But I can see how the narration style would rub some people the wrong way. @Cinfhen (edited) 10mo
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ICantImReading
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Of the 86 books I‘ve read so far this year, “Happiness Falls” might be my favorite. I think Angie Kim‘s work is just phenomenal - incredibly distinctive and profound. I found myself torn between tearing through the pages and reveling in each word. This novel taught me a lot, invited me to think critically, made me feel deeply, and left an indelible mark on my heart. #BOTM

KT1432 Love this review! 10mo
BennettBookworm Epic review! 10mo
BirdLaVie I love this invisible thread between you and Angie! 10mo
See All 6 Comments
ICantImReading @BennettBookworm @BennettBookworm @BirdLaVie thank you so much! It‘s such a beautiful book! 🥺💛 10mo
bio_chem06 My branch of the Chicago public library is pushing this one as their choice for new releases😀 10mo
ICantImReading @bio_chem06 I think it‘s so worth it, it‘s so special! 😍 10mo
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Cinfhen
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Panpan

Once again im about to offer an #UnpopularOpinion 🤷🏼‍♀️I did not enjoy this book at all! There‘s a good premise - a dad & his non-verbal teenage son go out for a hike near their home- hours later the boy returns agitated, despondent and alone. Because he can‘t communicate no one knows what happened and where their father is. It‘s clear something bad occurred but what? My problem was with the execution of the story. 👇🏽

Cinfhen The novel is told through the eyes of 20 year old Mia, the sister. She talks to the reader the entire story giving you every thought and feeling that she‘s experiencing plus she shares 100s of flashbacks and theories, some are written as footnotes. It felt like Mia was Velma from Scooby Doo, attempting to solve a mystery. She sounded more like a 12 year old tween than a 20 year old college student plus the author uses the Covid pandemic as a plot 10mo
Cinfhen device, which was really annoying. I really liked Miracle Creek and this book definitely takes that format and attempts to recreate the plot with a different set of characters and backstory. Maybe my expectations were too high because I seem to be the only reader who hated this book😜 10mo
ChaoticMissAdventures That is so sad to hear I really loved Angie Kim's 10mo
See All 9 Comments
Cinfhen Based on the reviews on GoodReads @ChaoticMissAdventures im truly alone with my opinion/ so I‘d say definitely give HF a try! And then lmk what you think 😊🧡 10mo
Bklover I‘ll have to check this out of the library and at least read a chapter or two picturing Velma as Mia. 10mo
Cinfhen Hahaha book comes out the end of August @Bklover xxx 10mo
Megabooks Just started this today. V curious where I‘ll come down. 10mo
Megabooks I‘m not a fan of Mia so far. 🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️ 10mo
Cinfhen I can‘t wait to hear your thoughts @Megabooks this book felt very YA - plus all the footnotes were super annoying to read in ebook form. And they were pointless!!! Ugh, also this felt like a rehash of 10mo
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jlhammar
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#BOTM delivery! I actually went for five books this month, but tagged was missing from my box. First time that‘s happened to me. I sent them a message so hopefully they‘ll send it my way soon.

Pogue Where did you find Bookbinder as a BOTM. That is not showing up on my selection. 10mo
jlhammar @Pogue It was one of the add-on options when I ordered (not one of the August main picks). 10mo
Pogue Thanks I found it! 10mo
69 likes3 comments
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AmyK1
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I decided to go with these for my #botm picks this month 😁 📚

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LeslieO
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Yay! I was hoping this would be on the list. I loved Miracle Creek and am looking forward to this one. #BOTM #MountTBR

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JenReadsAlot
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My #botm picks!

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LiteraryinLawrence
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As soon as the #botm site fiiiiiiinally posted the August books this morning, @BennettBookworm and I went through all the choices. I‘m excited about my choice: Happiness Falls! I loved Miracle Creek! I will say that several of the picks and add-ons are ones I‘ll read but they will be library borrows: Family Lore, Gone Tonight, the Lisa Jewell, the Gillian Macallister, maybe even the memoir. Good choices this month, I think!

Megabooks Great choice! Love those early releases! 11mo
Jess I‘m right there with you on Miracle Creek so this was an easy pick for me today. Hope you enjoy! 11mo
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theokiereader
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Pickpick

Full Review and Matching Recipe: https://wordpress.com/post/bakingthroughbookclub.com/1080

Adam Parsons leaves for his daily hike with his son who has special needs and never returns. Woven within the story is the struggle to help people with disabilities, especially those thought to be non-verbal, to find their voice. The ending is a little anti-climactic for a thriller, so I think it's better to consider Happiness Falls a contemporary fiction

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BoleyBooks
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Tackle the TBR 🤓📚 #boleybooks #happinessfalls #AngieKim #bookbeast #bookjoy #bookbuds
What are you reading? 😊

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Alfoster
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Pickpick

I SO loved this book after reading Miracle Creek! Eugene is born with AS (Angelman Syndrome) which makes him non-verbal and unable to control his movements. On an outing with his father, dad disappears and Eugene can‘t express what happened! Older sister Mia narrates as she tries to piece together the circumstances. This is a tear-jerker but oh so good! Out in Sept.
#NetGalley

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ErikasMindfulShelf
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Pickpick

Great novel. It had a mystery aspect that made you want to keep reading as well as focusing on family and autism/angelman syndrome. I learned a lot. Highly recommend. If you liked Miracle Creek you‘ll definitely like this one as well.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the advance copy.

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