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ChristyM

ChristyM

Joined May 2016

I can‘t remember when I wasn‘t a librarian.
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This House is Haunted by John Boyne
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ChristyM
The Night Diary | Veera Hiranandani
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Pickpick

This is a beautiful, important book. Nisha is 12 years old in 1947 and she feels the loss of her mother who died in childbirth. Nisha copes with her thoughts and feelings by writing to her mother at night in a diary. The family is then caught in the political turmoil of India‘s partition and has to deal with becoming refugees in their own country. Elegant writing and memorable characters mix with themes of family, grief, and tolerance.

17 likes1 stack add
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ChristyM
Front Desk | Kelly Yang
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Pickpick

This was my summer for catching up on acclaimed middle grade novels. When Mia‘s family immigrates from China to the US, her parents take a job managing a motel. Mia has to balance teen struggles along with concerns of race, poverty, crime,and justice. Lovely writing and well-developed characters pull the story together. The only piece that disappointed me was the character of Mia‘s teacher who is clueless and unsupportive.

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ChristyM
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Panpan

I was quite disappointed. The concept is good - brilliant women scientists pioneer a method of time travel. The biggest problem for me was the lack of time travel. Instead The story revolves around the wooden characters with a meandering plot line. Blah. But the cover design is nice.

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ChristyM
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Pickpick

I really enjoy the Jackaby series - nice middle grade/YA stories with a mix of horror, monsters, mystery, and folklore. This third book in the series is quite fun, with some extra character growth and just enough spooky action.

KathyWheeler I enjoyed these books too. This 3rd one sets up everything perfectly for The Dire King. 5mo
SW-T Enjoyable series 😊 5mo
ssravp Love Jackaby! 5mo
23 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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ChristyM
Bowlaway: A Novel | Elizabeth McCracken
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Pickpick

I have such mixed feelings about this book. I added it to my TBR list based on all the positive reviews. The first few chapters confused me - some nice writing, but I couldn‘t figure out where the story was going or who the main characters were even supposed to be. After hearing that many others had bailed, I came close to dropping the book. I‘m glad I stuck with it - halfway through I finally started appreciating the rhythms of each chapter.

21 likes1 stack add
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ChristyM
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Pickpick

I enjoyed the first two books in the Peculiar Crimes series - title three, though, is missing some of the charm of the previous books. There are still some interesting twists and turns without too much blood and gore. The lead detectives, Bryant and May, are memorable - this book didn‘t feature enough of them

AiBBot I thought the same thing. I have not read beyond this one yet. 5mo
20 likes1 stack add1 comment
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ChristyM
The Silver Branch | Rosemary Sutcliff
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Pickpick

I quite enjoyed the first book in Sutcliff‘s Roman Britain trilogy, The Eagle of the Ninth. (Although the Channing Tatum film version was pretty bad.) This is book two in the series, taking place a century after the first story. The plot line meanders and characters come and go. It reads like classic historical fiction though, and the details about Roman Britain are fascinating. The series is worth discovering.

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ChristyM
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Mehso-so

Disappointing... I went through a P. G. Wodehouse phase a few years ago. This novel starts off with some wit and vigor, but the plot just fizzles and I could have used more Jeeves and less Bertie. (I did read the book in the voices of Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie.)

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ChristyM
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Pickpick

What a charming historical fantasy novella. Djinns, automatons, and detectives in 1912 Cairo - I‘ll follow up with more of P. Djeli Clark‘s stories. (And the author gets bonus points for owning a Boston terrier.)

Angitron I absolutely loved this one! He‘s such a good writer - haven‘t been disappointed by any of his stuff yet! 😊 6mo
21 likes1 stack add1 comment
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ChristyM
Lovely War | Julie Berry
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Pickpick

YA historical romance + Greek gods = an interesting concept with flaws. Aphrodite, with help from other gods, narrates a World War I love story. The characters fell a bit flat for me but the battle details were gripping.

Bindrosbookshelf This sounds fascinating 5mo
25 likes1 stack add1 comment
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ChristyM
The Book of Boy | Catherine Gilbert Murdock
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Pickpick

In the Holy Year of 1350 a special boy and a pilgrim journey from France to Rome on a quest for holy relics. I bought this middle grade book for my school library and I‘m afraid it‘s going to be a tough sell. The writing is lovely and the story moves quickly, with plenty of surprises, but my wonderful students are going to need some support to stick with it to the end. Lots of similarities with The Inquisitor‘s Tale (which never gets checked out).

22 likes2 stack adds
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ChristyM
Foxglove Summer | Ben Aaronovitch
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Pickpick

Influenza-like illness put a real cramp in my reading over the past two weeks. I couldn‘t focus on this Peter Grant fantasy-mystery like I wanted to. I‘m reading them in order and this was just as enjoyable as the first four - the countryside put a nice twist on the usual London setting. I did miss Nightingale, though.

KathyWheeler I love Nightingale! 9mo
Dragon Love this series. Hope you‘re feeling better soon! 💐 9mo
17 likes2 comments
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ChristyM
French Exit: A Novel | Patrick DeWitt
Mehso-so

I had high hopes for this book after reading the first couple of chapters about a family of quirky high society New Yorkers. The writing is lovely and witty. By the midpoint, though, the story just turned into a mess. Half-developed characters showed up for no reason and the ending left me flat.
I‘m on a So-So reading streak.

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ChristyM
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Pickpick

I‘d like to give this a Pick Minus, or maybe a So-So Plus. I love a good time travel book and the concept of this series is appealing - a cabal of adventurers skip through time, solving historical puzzles and getting into trouble. The science is slight and the characters kind of wooden. I could do with more historical details too. Some day I‘ll give book 2 a try.

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ChristyM
French Exit: A Novel | Patrick DeWitt
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“She was a moneyed, striking woman of sixty-five years, easing her hands into black calfskin gloves on the steps of a brownstone in New York City‘s Upper East Side. Her son, Malcolm, thirty-two, stood nearby looking his usual broody and unkempt self.”

So far this is a quirky, dark comedy of manners. I can‘t help imagining it as a Wes Anderson movie.

21 likes1 stack add
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ChristyM
How to Stop Time | Matt Haig
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Mehso-so

I finished this two days ago and it‘s already fading fast from my memory.
Tom has been alive for over 400 years, dealing with all the problems a semi-immortal person would encounter. The characters are very flat and some interesting plot threads are just left hanging in the wind. That said, I had to finish the book just to see how the author could wrap it all up. Apparently the movie is on its way with Benedict Cumberbatch.

TobeyTheScavengerMonk Yeah, just reading the description it seems like this is an idea that has been done repeatedly and better elsewhere. 10mo
KimM I agree with @TobeyTheScavengerMonk I gave this one 3⭐️s because there are much better books around the same idea. However, I‘m all in on a Benedict Cumberbatch movie 😍 (edited) 10mo
24 likes2 comments
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ChristyM
Melmoth | Sarah Perry
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Mehso-so

Such a disappointment. I enjoyed The Essex Serpent - the rich language, the characters, and the folkloric storytelling . Melmoth is filled with such a sense of despair and guilt, I found myself relieved to reach the last page. The writing felt more forced in this book and I never truly cared about Helen, the main character.

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ChristyM
Howls Moving Castle | Diana Wynne Jones
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Got my Howl‘s Moving Castle socks. I want socks for all my favorite books.

SW-T Awesome! 11mo
quietjenn Whoa! Those are amazing! 11mo
ChristyM Socksense Japan Animation Series... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0149X6QKG?ref=yo_pop_ma_swf 11mo
Linsy I‘ve those socks! 💖 10mo
23 likes4 comments
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ChristyM
How to Build a Girl | Caitlin Moran
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Pickpick

Funny and heartwarming - Johanna is a teen mixture of Bridget Jones and Adrian Mole, growing up in the ‘90s and trying to decide who she should be.

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ChristyM
Mrs. Fletcher: A Novel | Tom Perrotta
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Pickpick

I‘ve enjoyed many of Tom Perrotta‘s novels about the seedy underbelly of American suburbs. This story made me want to wash my hands by the end. Unlikable characters make all kinds of bad choices but the writing pulls you along to the conclusion.

CarolynM I like your style - "want to wash my hands"? I have a copy of this, obviously I need to bump it up the priority list. 11mo
Cinfhen So..... this book left too much of an icky feeling but oddly, I LOVED 11mo
25 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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ChristyM
Howl's Moving Castle | Diana Wynne Jones
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Pickpick

What a pleasant surprise - I think I picked up this book when it was published in the ‘80s but my younger self didn‘t appreciate it. My older lady self loved the classic storytelling and the fantastic, fully fleshed-out characters. I‘m putting the DVD on reserve at the library and I‘ll eventually read the other Howl books.
(I believe I once read that Neil Gaiman cites Diana Wynne Jones as an influence. Howl reminded me quite a bit of Stardust.)

thegirlwiththelibrarybag Pretty sure Neil has written introductions for some of her books ☺️ he‘s definitely a fan 9mo
24 likes1 stack add1 comment
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ChristyM
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I decided to give #jolabokaflod books + chocolate to my family - the tagged book is for my 13 year old. Merry Christmas!

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ChristyM
Howls Moving Castle | Diana Wynne Jones
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As a girl, Sophie would have shriveled with embarrassment at the way she was behaving. As an old woman, she did not mind what she did or said. She found that a great relief.

You go, Sophie.

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ChristyM
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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Mehso-so

This book was a bit of a slog. Cuba is an interesting setting for book that relies heavily on atmosphere. But Clare is such a shadowy main character- eventually I just wanted to reach the last page.

On an interesting note, this is the third book I‘ve read this year that featured a character getting stuck in a well. What‘s up with that? Is the universe trying to tell me something?

Samplergal I thought it was really weird and hard to follow. I suppose that‘s why there are millions of books. 13mo
CoraHirashiki Was the other wind-up bird chronicle? 12mo
ChristyM Yes! The third book was Hello, Universe. I‘m taking it as a sign to stay away from wells. 12mo
16 likes3 comments
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ChristyM
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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I‘m having a tough time getting through this one. It‘s a bit of a fever dream.

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ChristyM
Stranger | Chris Van Allsburg
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Pickpick

It‘s not really autumn until I read The Stranger to my third grade classes. The students guessed his identity right away this year.

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ChristyM
Calypso | David Sedaris
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Pickpick

I loved David Sedaris‘ early books and stories. His last couple books felt a little bland to me and I stopped looking forward to his new stuff. This book is a great return to form - hilarious and touching at the same time. I want to be David‘s best friend and go on trash collecting expeditions with him through the British countryside.

Indexasaurus Me too! I want to go shopping for weird stuff with him! 14mo
Chelsea.Poole I also love the trash collecting! 😂 I could get in with that! 13mo
21 likes1 stack add2 comments
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ChristyM
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Pickpick

Well, I think all the reviews are right - this might end up being one of my favorite books of this year. Eleanor is a complicated, hilarious, and heartbreaking character. I dare anyone to read the book and not feel as if they‘d like to be Eleanor‘s best friend.

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ChristyM
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Mehso-so

I have complicated feelings about Connie Willis‘ books. I generally enjoy her time travel stories. Doomsday Book was very good and I loved Blackout/All Clear despite some slow patches. To Say Nothing of the Dog is my favorite of hers. Sometimes her story lines seem to drag and the writing just doesn‘t flow. I think that‘s why I really disliked Passage. This novella has its heart in the right place but that‘s about all.

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ChristyM
As I Lay Dying | William Faulkner
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Pickpick

I can‘t explain why I chose this for summer reading. I‘d never tried Faulkner before - the writing is beautiful and harsh. The words reminded me of my Virginia grandmother - I can hear her saying “I‘ll be durned.” Not a feel-good book by any means but I‘m glad I experienced it.

18 likes2 stack adds
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ChristyM
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Finally recovered from last weekend‘s National Book Festival. My daughter and I waited two and a half hours in the signing line for Justice Sotomayor‘s autograph. She was gracious and amazing.
#nationalbookfestival

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ChristyM
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A nice variety of cookies. I only tried the standard peanut butter - not bad at all, but not a keeper recipe either.

11 likes1 stack add
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ChristyM
Southern Cookie Book | The Editors of Southern Living
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I love borrowing cookbooks from the public library every summer. This one was a winner. I can‘t post a picture of the yummy snickerdoodles we made - they disappeared too fast.

11 likes1 stack add
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ChristyM
The Music Shop | Rachel Joyce
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Mehso-so

On the plus side ... pleasant writing and enough of a plot line to make read to the end

On the negative side ... characters that weren‘t fully fleshed out and just too much preciousness for me

I do love vinyl though.

Purrfectpages I agree with your analysis! 1y
16 likes1 comment
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ChristyM
Meddling Kids | Edgar Cantero
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Meddling Kids + the new USPS Scooby-Doo stamps

I‘m going to have to find stamps to coordinate with all my reading 😊

rather_be_reading perfect! 5mo
14 likes1 comment
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ChristyM
Meddling Kids | Edgar Cantero
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Scooby-Doo as written by Stephen King
Really enjoyable so far and fun trying to identify the literary/cartoony references (the Zoinks River, Blyton Hills, the Arkham Asylum...)

13 likes1 stack add
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ChristyM
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Mehso-so

Apparently the first three Flavia de Luce mysteries have all melded together in my mind. I read the first thirty pages of this book with a sense of deja vu. I‘m pretty sure I read the whole thing a couple of years ago and I wasn‘t crazy about the story then either.

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ChristyM
Hello, Universe | Erin Entrada Kelly
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Pickpick

The 2018 Newbery Medal winner has lovely writing and thoughtful messages about friendship and individuality. A good read aloud for middle grades.

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ChristyM
Strange Practice | Vivian Shaw
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Mehso-so

A disappointment... the story started so promisingly with a monster mashup of characters. Then those characters started talking and talking and talking... I‘ll probably return to the series once I forget how the plot line of this book petered away.

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ChristyM
Water Room | Christopher Fowler
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Pickpick

A little bit of a sophomore slump for this series... I quite enjoyed Full Dark House, but this follow-up was slow going for the first third. I stuck with it for the quirky characters. (Why do so many of my recent reads deal somehow with lost rivers of London?)

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ChristyM
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“Plato‘s Republic,” Zeus said. “Three hundred philosophers and classics majors. Ten thousand slave children. Lost artworks from all of time. Robots. The head of the Winged Victory of Samothrace.”
Well, that‘s a great summary of the book as a whole. And I particularly enjoyed the robots.

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ChristyM
Arcadia | Tom Stoppard
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We shed as we pick up, like travellers who must carry everything in their arms, and what we let fall will be picked up by those behind. The procession is very long and life is very short. We die on the march. But there is nothing outside the march so nothing can be lost to it.

4 likes1 stack add
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ChristyM
Arcadia: A novel | Iain Pears
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Nothing makes me happier than a stack of fresh library books.

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ChristyM
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Pickpick

Six hundred pages and eight weeks later... an unforgettable book.

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ChristyM
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Pickpick

This is a fun middle grade adventure novel with just a little bit of steampunk flavor. The alternate version of New York history was captivating - I‘m looking forward to the next title in the series.

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ChristyM
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Pickpick

Well, that was fun. I know I‘m late to the party with this series. Loved the characters and all the London details. Great for fans of Peter Grant and Rivers of London.

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ChristyM
The Truth | Terry Pratchett
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Pickpick

"The truth is still putting on its boots when a lie is running around the world..."
I'm slowly working my way through Discworld, dreading the day when I reach the end. This particular adventure is now one of my favorites and how timely. Fake news, politics, untrustworthy leaders, a plague of dogs, dwarves, vampires, zombies, and, of course, meat on a stick. Thank you, Sir Terry.

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ChristyM
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Pickpick

This spring I shared Gene Luen Yang's #readingwithoutwalls challenge with my fifth graders. I thought I better challenge myself too.

I didn't know much about this book before reading it, except that it had received numerous accolades. I loved the storytelling and the gorgeous language - certain scenes are embedded in my brain forever.

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ChristyM
The Immortals | Jordanna Max Brodsky
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Mehso-so

I've always been a sucker for any story with Greek gods in the modern world. This one started slow, picked up steam in the middle, then had a lackluster ending. I don't think I'll bother with the sequel.

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ChristyM
Lincoln in the Bardo | George Saunders
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Pickpick

I started this book with trepidation- the reviews had warned that it might involve some work. I was pleasantly surprised - the writing and storytelling are stunning. Yes, there are many characters to follow but they're all so unique. (I love a good cemetery setting - this reminded me of The Graveyard Book, as well as A Fine and Private Place.)