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Angitron

Angitron

Joined August 2017

Books and other musings at www.abbottlane.com
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The Loosening Skin by Aliya Whiteley
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The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic by Mahogany L. Browne, Jamila Woods, Idrissa Simmonds
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Angitron
Skein Island | Aliya Whiteley
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Pickpick

Aliya Whiteley is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers. After devouring The Beauty earlier this year, I was thrilled to see this re-issue of an old book of hers. Skein Island invites women to a week-long retreat, free of men and normal responsibilities. It‘s free. Payment is in the form of a declaration - a life story that each woman writes and that‘s put away in a secret library never to be seen again. *cue creepy music*

Nute I‘ve. Never heard of this author or any of her books. I‘m intrigued by what you described. Stacking! Thanks for sharing!🙂 5d
9 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Angitron
Welcoming | Nora Roberts
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Please help me welcome my good friend @Jennsie to Litsy! Also, today is her birthday so WOOT WOOOOOOT!!! 🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾🥳🎂🎈#welcomewagon #newmember #newlittens

Tonton Hey hey welcome❣️😎 6d
sprainedbrain Welcome @Jennsie and happy birthday! 🎉🥳 6d
See All 6 Comments
diovival Welcome to Litsy @jennsie! 6d
Nute Hi @Jennsie! Happy belated birthday! 5d
Jennsie Thanks, everyone!!! 💕 5d
14 likes6 comments
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Angitron
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Pickpick

Totally engrossing story about a young woman who survives the apocalypse. I loved how the book‘s numerous themes (capitalism, work culture, immigration, nostalgia, relationships, city life, family, etc etc) were woven together - it felt like it honestly and accurately reflected the current zeitgeist. I‘ll be following Ling Ma closely - I‘m excited to see what she writes next!

MicheleinPhilly Great review! 2mo
Angitron @MicheleinPhilly Thank you!! 😊 2mo
Nute Nice review! 5d
25 likes3 comments
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Angitron
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Pickpick

Loved this graphic novel! I thought the play on Frankenstein‘s Monster was very clever. How do we define the monstrous? How have Black bodies been defined as monstrous and what has the impact of that social delusion been? The book presents those heavy ideas, but it‘s also just a good story!

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Angitron
The Hunger | Alma Katsu
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This was a spooky retelling of the Donner Party incident. I‘m kind of a sucker for retellings of historic events that offer a supernatural twist, so this was definitely in my wheelhouse. Not terrifying, but definitely creepy and unsettling! A fun read!

15 likes2 stack adds
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Angitron
Replay | Ken Grimwood
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Panpan

Spent the last six weeks finding a new apartment and moving. Stressful! But I‘m finally settled in and can get back to reading and Litsy-ing. Read this one for bookclub. I couldn‘t get past how selfish and misogynistic the main character was. I know this is partially due to the time in which the book was written, but it still left a bad taste in my mouth. That being said, the concept was kind of interesting, but not interesting enough to save it.

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Pickpick

Real talk - I‘m not sure I completely understand everything I just read. But my god - it was beautiful! Douglas weaves Jamaican history, music, and Rastafarianism (something I knew nothing about and had to look up as I went along) into a story about Bob Marley dying then returning to Earth for seven days in the body of a homeless man. Totally strange and brilliant and glorious. Very experimental in format, so it‘s not for everyone, but I loved it.

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Panpan

This was such a disappointment! It started out strong, focusing on scientists during the Cultural Revolution in China. Then it jumped to modern times, and a series of mysterious incidents. But somewhere towards the back third it completely fell apart for me, with a “big” reveal that was corny, flat characters who never developed, awkward dialogue, and long, boring sections of exposition. To say the least, I won‘t be continuing the trilogy.

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River of Teeth | Sarah Gailey
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I wasn‘t totally blown away by this one, but I enjoyed it well enough. It‘s an alternate history Western in which hippos are used very similarly to horses. There are wacky characters and a caper at the center of the story. I feel like it could‘ve used a longer treatment - I didn‘t bond with the characters as much as I liked. But the world building was good and zany enough to keep things interesting!

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Angitron
We Sold Our Souls | Grady Hendrix
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As always, I had a blast reading Hendrix‘s book. They‘re just fun! This one was no exception, with a storyline centering on aging rock stars and a pact with dark forces that has potentially terrible consequences. I also loved that Hendrix describes one‘s soul as “the best of us” and ties it to our ability/desire for originality and creative ingenuity. A fun read!

22 likes1 stack add
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Angitron
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Pickpick

Oy. This was a tough read about the women who painted glow in the dark dials and clock faces, initially for WWI. The paint contained radium, and they were instructed to “Lip...dip...paint” in order to make the brush tips as pointed as possible. These women withstood immense suffering and the actions of the companies they worked for were unconscionable. Their fight for justice paved the way for the rights workers enjoy today.

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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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Angitron
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Bailedbailed

Another bail. Couldn‘t get into the characters or the story.

Bklover I bailed on this one too! 5mo
21 likes1 comment
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Angitron
Exhalation: Stories | Ted Chiang
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Bailedbailed

I‘m currently on a bail spree. For some reason, not much is holding my attention these days (I‘m in a bit of a stressful period, so it‘s probably more about me than the books themselves). And while I adored Chiang‘s last collection of stories, these didn‘t keep me engaged.

SW-T Sometimes that happens. Hopefully things settle down for you and the right book finds you at the right time😊 5mo
Angitron @SW-T Thanks! 😊 5mo
15 likes2 comments
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Angitron
Chasing Utopia: A Hybrid | Nikki Giovanni
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Pickpick

I‘d never read any poetry by Nikki Giovanni before, but found my way to her work via a mention by poet Fatima Asghar. My favorite poems and essays were the ones where she wrote about her family and what life was like growing up. The way she writes about the simple pleasures in life feel like home.

Nute Nice review! 4mo
15 likes1 comment
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Angitron
Thick: And Other Essays | Tressie McMillan Cottom
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A collection of powerful essays about being a black woman. Cottom is a wonderful thinker and writer, and I flew through this collection in one sitting! Her essay Dying to Be Competent, which is about the loss of her child, was especially hard-hitting, and the way Cottom is able to connect the personal and the political throughout this book is striking.

SW-T Loved her book 🥰 I wanted to slap that nurse and explain how not to treat a patient. So heartbreaking. 5mo
Angitron @SW-T Yes! The behavior of the medical staff was horrific. 5mo
20 likes2 comments
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Angitron
Mouthful of Birds: Stories | Samanta Schweblin
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I enjoyed these odd little stories! The opening one was especially strong. Many of the tales in this collection feel a bit unresolved, but I kind of appreciated that. They felt more haunting that way, as if the larger horror (and in many of these, we‘ve already been faced with the unsettling) is just around the corner.

Lola Good to read your review! This has been on my list. I really like (and was creeped out by) (edited) 5mo
Angitron @Lola Ooh, I haven‘t read that, but based on this collection of stories I‘m interested in checking it out! 5mo
30 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Angitron
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Pickpick

A sweet quick read detailing the biggest mysteries in physics. It‘s written in a way that‘s easy to understand, but still mind-blowing. The universe is amazing!

21 likes2 stack adds
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Panpan

This just wasn‘t for me. The writing was solid and I liked the idea of shipminds (though I‘d come across a similar concept before in Iain Banks‘ Culture novels), but I couldn‘t connect with the characters and the murder mystery at the center of this novella fell a bit flat for me.

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If They Come For Us | Fatimah Asghar
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Gorgeous poetry! Love, loss, family, friendship...Asghar is able to capture so much in so few words. I also learned a little about The Partition of India (1947), into India and Pakistan, and how this sudden split sowed chaos and ripped families, cultures and lives apart. An estimated 14 million people were displaced. I felt ashamed that I knew nothing about this part of history and am grateful to Asghar and others who do the labor of teaching.

24 likes3 stack adds
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Angitron
The Beauty | Aliya Whiteley
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One of the strangest books I‘ve ever read, and I read some weird stuff! In it, a fungal plague has killed all of the women, leaving only men. The story follows a small band of men in a village who come into contact with new life - mushroom women who emerge from the graves of those lost. This was VERY weird and very disturbing, but it‘s brilliant and the writing is stellar - absolutely LOVED this novella!

GypsyKat Okay, I‘m officially intrigued! 5mo
Angitron @GypsyKat Hope you enjoy it! I‘m still thinking about it weeks later! 😬 5mo
GypsyKat @Angitron Wow! I hope it‘s in a good way lol 5mo
21 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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Angitron
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Pickpick

Picked this one up because I realized I‘d only read and knew of a few Black women horror writers. Addison is the first Black winner of the Bram Stoker Award for horror writing. Some things in this collection were stronger than others. But overall I enjoyed the poems, and I thought the stories were interesting and had a unique perspective.

23 likes2 stack adds
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Baby Teeth | Zoje Stage
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Mehso-so

Somewhere between a so-so and pan, but closer to a pan. Despite my seething hatred of every single family member in this book, I found it oddly unputdownable. But overall, it felt too long, and the writing in Hanna‘s chapters didn‘t feel age appropriate. One thing I did like was the honest depiction of the mixed feelings the parents had towards parenthood. I suspect many couples feel this way, but it‘s rarely portrayed in popular culture.

Drocchio03 Just finished the book and agree with every word of your review. Finished it in a day, and am left totally unsatisfied. Blech. 6mo
26 likes1 comment
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Husk | J. Kent Messum
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This was a fun, fast read! It reminded me a lot of Blake Crouch‘s Dark Matter in terms of compulsive readability - I couldn‘t put it down! The wealthiest of the dead can temporarily upload their consciousness into a “husk” - a living person who essentially puts their body up for rent. With this body clients can do (and DO do) just about anything. One husk finds himself at the mercy of a horrific client, and must race against time to stop him.

LauraJ Sounds good! 6mo
16 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Angitron
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this short, creepy read! The question of whether Amanda‘s problems are of supernatural origin or otherwise was captivating (IMHO, its a little bit of both - sometimes very high emotional states or transitions can result in a rebirth of sorts...) Regardless of what side of the argument you fall on, all in all I thought it was a great look at female rage and desire, and how we don‘t really know how to deal with them.

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Pickpick

Perhaps it‘s due to my state of mind right now (feeling a lack of being seen and/or heard), but I related to a number of these stories. Many of them feature lead characters who are being stalked or tormented by something indescribable. What makes Davila‘s writing so haunting is her use of language - it‘s the language of concrete reality. So when the uncanny occurs, it feels all the more frightening and disorienting. Loved this collection!

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An Unkindness of Ghosts | Rivers Solomon
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Mehso-so

Unpopular opinion, but I had trouble with this one. The writing was fine, but the main plot was stretched out across the book in such a way that I lost interest. I also had difficulty envisioning the mechanics and layout of the ship, and being able to visualize things when reading SFF is hugely important, IMHO. I almost feel like this would‘ve worked better as a collection of short stories - vignettes of the various characters and their lives.

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Washington Black | Esi Edugyan
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Edugyan can write! Loved this one. The story revolves around Wash, a boy born into slavery in Barbados. He‘s taken under the wing of an English scientist, and from there we follow Wash as he travels around the globe, ultimately seeking a wholeness he realizes is missing. There‘s a tinge of magical realism to the story, giving it the feeling of an adult fairy tale, and I found it hard to put down.

AmyG I loved this, too. 7mo
20 likes1 comment
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Angitron
The Lathe of Heaven | Ursula K Le Guin
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I remember seeing the PBS adaptation of this in high school and loving it. It‘s about a man named George who has “effective” dreams - in other words, his dreams actually change reality. George‘s interactions with a manipulative psychiatrist eventually leads to chaos and the book shows the dangers of having a God complex, even if one‘s intentions seem “good” on the surface. A great read!

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The Street | Ann Petry
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Bailedbailed

I read according to my mood, and this one isn‘t quite hitting the spot for me right now. I may return to it eventually when the mood strikes, but for now... bailing!

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In the Distance | Hernan Diaz
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Håkan is a young boy when he‘s sent to America with his older brother. Almost immediately they‘re separated and Håkan, who was supposed to land in New York, finds himself in San Francisco at the height of the Gold Rush. He traverses the US in search of his brother, crossing paths with strange people and finding himself in nightmarish situations. Reading this felt like being trapped in a fever dream. Some of the imagery will never leave me!

18 likes2 stack adds
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Pickpick

Second book of the trilogy. I liked this (only slightly) less than the first book, partially because it felt all over the place. But it was exciting to be back in Thompson‘s rich world, and learning more about the alien presence that has taken up residence in Rosewater. I can‘t wait to see how it all ends!

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Pickpick

An interesting trip (ha!) through the world of psychedelics, going back to their history as a class of drugs studied at universities for their therapeutic potential, to their downfall and rebranding as a menace to society, to today where they‘re slowly creeping back into the halls of psychotherapy. It was a topic I didn‘t know much about, but I thought this was really well-researched and written. Fascinating and I learned a lot!

janerzy I‘ve been wanting to read this book! 7mo
Angitron @janerzy I totally recommend it! 7mo
17 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Angitron
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Pickpick

Samantha Irby is one funny lady! I found her writing hilarious and heartbreaking and unflinchingly honest. Towards the end I did get a bit of memoir fatigue (generally speaking, memoirs aren‘t my thing, so there‘s some inherent bias there), but overall I liked this one.

JoScho Love this one. 8mo
MrBook Nice review! 8mo
SW-T Good review! Very accurate 😊 8mo
22 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Angitron
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Panpan

I couldn‘t emotionally connect with this one, and I found some stylistic things a bit grating. There‘s definitely an audience out there for this one, I‘m just not one of them. Not a terrible book, just one that‘s not for me.

IamIamIam At least you gave it a fair shake. Not every book can be phenomenal! #NEXT! 8mo
Angitron @IamIamIam Yes! I‘m glad I checked it out and supported a local author at least! 😊 8mo
14 likes2 comments
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Rogue Protocol | Martha Wells
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Man. I just love the Murderbot series! This one takes us on another zippy adventure with everyone‘s favorite misanthropic robot. The ending of this one felt sadly abrupt, like there was a bit of unfinished business. At the same time, I couldn‘t have seen it end any other way. How is it possible to get such feels about robots?!??

SW-T Because Murderbot, Art, and Miki are all wonderful in their own way 💕 8mo
Angitron @SW-T They really are, aren‘t they? I love that Wells is able to give them such humanity! 8mo
13 likes2 comments
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The Black God's Drums | P. Djeli Clark
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I‘m so impressed by Clark‘s writing. Nothing I‘ve read by him so far has been anything less than totally engrossing and magical! This novella is no exception and I‘m hopeful, once again, that he‘ll write more stories set in this universe.

Kammbia1 I just started reading this one. It has been on my list to read for awhile. 6mo
28 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Angitron
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Pickpick

This book is set in the same universe as The Haunting of Tram Car 015, a world I really love! This is actually the first story in the series, so I‘ve gone a bit backwards, but it didn‘t make *too* much of a difference. I really love Clark‘s writing and hope he sets more stories in this alternate history version of Cairo.

Ashley_Nicoletto I love this author. Did you read this one? It was fantastic. 9mo
DGRachel I downloaded this yesterday because I love the title. Looking forward to reading it! 9mo
Angitron @Ashley_Nicoletto I just started reading it the other day, right after I finished Dead Djinn in Cairo. It was like “Whelp, loved this...let‘s do another one.” 😂 Loving it so far! He‘s such a fantastic world builder! 9mo
Angitron @DGRachel Hope you enjoy it! 😊 9mo
26 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Pickpick

This book is insane. A scientist invents a process by which blacks can become white, and before you know it, scores of blacks in the US change their race, throwing the country‘s racial anxiety into high gear. Schuyler places the blame for racism in squarely in capitalism‘s hands, and thus skewers EVERYONE - white and black. No one is safe from his critical eye, and while funny the book is also uncomfortable. I enjoyed it but...YIKES. 😳😳😳😂😂😂

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Pickpick

This was so much fun! Wonderful world-building (an alternate history set in a never colonized, technologically advanced Egypt), a fun mystery and interesting characters. Hoping that Clark writes more stories set in this world!

21 likes2 stack adds
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Pickpick

Love love love Gay‘s writing! This is a gorgeous book of poetry focused on gratitude for the small things, which, when placed together, comprise the large arcs of our lives. I love the way his poems pivot - they often start at one point and meander, ending at a different place from where they started, but somehow maintaining a beautiful cohesiveness. Gay is definitely a new to me favorite writer!

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Pickpick

This book should be essential reading for anyone who identifies as a feminist. Cooper writers with intense clarity about the myriad ways in which mainstream feminism fails to address the unique hardships of Black women. I wish I had had this in college when, as a young woman minoring in Women‘s Studies, I often experienced discomfort and sometimes outright hostility - much of it at the hands of women who professed to be feminists. A must read!

TrishB Stacked 👍🏻 10mo
MicheleinPhilly GREAT review! 10mo
Angitron @TrishB 🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾 10mo
25 likes4 stack adds4 comments
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Angitron
We Cast a Shadow: A Novel | Maurice Carlos Ruffin
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Mehso-so

For some reason, this was confusing to me. Things happened that didn‘t seem central to the plot, it felt disjointed, and the middle lagged. The main story - a satire about a black man trying to save enough money for an operation that will make his son look Caucasian - felt lost in the shuffle. There were moments of clarity, so it wasn‘t a total miss for me, but yeah...it‘s a strange book! I think it might have worked better as a short story.

Nickinpa I‘m reading this one now and it‘s a struggle. I‘m trying not to DNF. On page 154 and not liking it, not even a little bit. 10mo
Angitron @Nickinpa I felt the same way - it is a struggle, isn‘t it? And I can‘t say that it gets much better as you go further along. I‘m glad I read it, in the sense that I was exposed to a new author. But yeah... 10mo
Nickinpa @Angitron I finished and felt that 3rd and 4th parts were vastly better than the first two parts. I liked Black No More by George Schuyler much better. Still We Cast a Shadow was a meh read for me. (edited) 9mo
Angitron @Nickinpa I agree! It‘s too bad that it took so long to get more momentum. Thanks for the Schuyler recommendation - I‘ll check it out! 😊 9mo
22 likes4 comments
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this collection of stories. I think Collins‘ writing is beautifully nuanced - there‘s a lot under the surface. It was interesting to read about middle class, highly educated Black women in the 1960s and 1970s, when the US was in the midst of so much upheaval re: civil and women‘s rights. A few of the stories didn‘t *quite* work for me, but the ones that did blew my mind. My favorites: The Uncle, Lifelines, and the title story.

27 likes1 stack add
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Pickpick

A solid collection of short stories, many of them focused on familial relationships. The title story was one of my favorites, simply for the fascinating/terrifying future presented (US and Europe are completely underwater, forcing white majorities to resettle in brown/black countries; a biological weapon that targets melanin; tattoos that denote class and restrict or expand where you travel), and I hope she develops them into a full-length story!

hermyknee Great review! 10mo
Angitron @hermyknee Thank you! 😊 10mo
32 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Angitron
The Changeling | Victor LaValle
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Pickpick

This book is a mixed bag. I found myself frustrated with a few threads that were left open, and some ideas that would have been fascinating if they were more fleshed out. I also didn‘t quite understand the purpose of a few plot points. But the writing is terrific and overall I enjoyed this one!

MrBook Great review! 10mo
Angitron @MrBook Thanks! 10mo
26 likes2 comments
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Angitron
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Pickpick

It took me a minute to get into the language of this book, and its various POVs. But in the end I was really impressed by the way Bolander was able to weave together three historically-based storylines to create an alternate history in which elephants and humans can communicate via sign language. Very inventive and well-written!

20 likes2 stack adds
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Bedfellow | Jeremy C. Shipp
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Bailedbailed

A short book but I‘m finding that I don‘t really care about the family at the center of the story, making it a slog for me. Bailing on this one...at least for now.

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Behold the Dreamers | Imbolo Mbue
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Mehso-so

This was *just* shy of a pick for me. While the writing was lovely, the story felt a bit bare bones and at times I was a bit bored. Had the story been a bit meatier, this would‘ve been a clear win. I‘m excited to see what the author does down the road (this is her debut), because I think she‘ll only get better and eventually produce something really special!

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Angitron
Friday Black | NANA KWAME. ADJEI-BRENYAH
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Mehso-so

Based on the strength of the first story in this collection, I thought I would love it. Unfortunately, the rest of the stories didn‘t grab me in the same way. Adjei-Brenyah writes beautiful prose but the stories, with a few exceptions, didn‘t work for me. That being said, I‘ll be interested to see where he goes from here as his craft develops.