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ElectricKatyLand

ElectricKatyLand

Joined December 2016

LibraryThing member ElectricKatyland

review
ElectricKatyLand
Magnate | Joanna Shupe
Pickpick

So good. I plan to read the rest of the series immediately. Self-made steel magnate approached by a high-society heiress who needs a front for her (secret) stock brokerage firm. They overcome a forced wedding and trust issues on their way to HEA in Gilded Age NYC.

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ElectricKatyLand
Nights with Him | Lauren Blakely
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Steamy read featuring a romance between a sex therapist and a sex toy mogul.

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ElectricKatyLand
The Forgotten Room: A Novel | Beatriz Williams, Karen White, Lauren Willig
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Enjoyable light historical fiction and family mystery. The novel follows three generations of women and their connections to an NYC mansion, and to the men that live(d) there. Mild complaints: there's a problematic doctor/patient relationship, and the FatedMates (TM) trope doesn't always work, but I liked this one overall.

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ElectricKatyLand
Darkness: A Thriller | Ragnar Jonasson
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This Icelandic crime novel had a twist ending I never saw coming, nor seen in any other novel. You should read it just for that! Hulda is a detective forced into early retirement who picks a cold case to close out her career. Like all good scandicrime novels, this one has multi-generational trauma, buried secrets, international sex trafficking, and a hard-boiled detective who lives in shades of gray.

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ElectricKatyLand
Pickpick

A violently funny caper in the mode of Tim Dorsey. Our anti-hero is a discreet cocaine lord targeted by an international criminal ring. He strikes back to devastating effect. This is an over-the-top crime spree narrated in first person stream-of-consciousness. It's clever and hilarious.

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ElectricKatyLand
How to Be an Antiracist | Ibram X. Kendi
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Excellent, accessible, powerful. Dr. Kendi distinguishes between “racist“ and “anti-racist“ ideas, policies, and actions in a variety of contexts. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in learning more about the ways in which racism undermines our values and communities, and the ways in which we're all guilty to some degree. Being an anti-racist is an active role that anyone can play.

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ElectricKatyLand
Mehso-so

Other parents have told me this book is life-changing. I didn't get that, but my toddler may be too young for this to really apply. The overall book can be summed up by the final three pages, which provide a check-list of ways to make sure you balance your emotional and logical responses to your child's still-developing reactions to the world.

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ElectricKatyLand
Pickpick

Snarky in tone, penetrating in insight. Would recommend to read after you already suspect your type. Not as action-oriented as other Enneagram books, but the focus on how patterns/habits/routines influence your daily life is useful.

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ElectricKatyLand
Aurora Blazing: A Novel | Jessie Mihalik
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Solid second installment in an ongoing trilogy about political drama in space. I liked the pace and action of Polaris Rising more, but this slow-burn between a widowed heiress with secret cyber-encryption talents and her family's security officer is still very good.

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ElectricKatyLand
Trick Mirror | Jia Tolentino
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Forgot to add this a couple months ago. Outstanding. Incisive. Revelatory. I really, really enjoyed Tolentino's take on contemporary life from a late millennial POV. Parts about suburban Houston, evangelical Christianity, barre class, and the mid-90s internet made me gasp out loud in recognition.

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ElectricKatyLand
Americanah | Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
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Engrossing. Follows two Nigerians who were in love as teenagers as they leave home, (im)migrate to the US and UK, and eventually re-connect in Lagos 10+ years later. Adichie's writing is beautiful and immersive. Looking forward to discussing this one with our book club!

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ElectricKatyLand
How the Dukes Stole Christmas: A Holiday Romance Anthology | Sarah MacLean, Tessa Dare, Sophie Jordan, Joanna Shupe Sophie Jordan
Mehso-so

Mixed bag for me that I really should have waited another month to read and get in the holiday spirit. I really liked two of these (publisher + advice columnist; Scottish duke + stranded heroine). Another was fine and sweet (duke + the heroine he's about to evict), and the fourth, a second-chance romance, didn't do it for me.

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ElectricKatyLand
Mehso-so

Quick read that might have been better as a longer essay and/or Ted Talk. Eyal shares four components of focusing on what you want to, instead of your tech devices: internal & external triggers, traction (doing what you want), and distraction. Each chapter has action items and a concise summary. The suggestions are good, but I only found a couple that resonated with me personally.

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ElectricKatyLand
Dark Skye | Kresley Cole
Mehso-so

I usually love Immortals After Dark, but the uptight hero here was such a jerk. The sorceress heroine deserved better than this prude as a fated mate. The realm-traveling and swashbuckling saved this novel from a thumbs-down rating.

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ElectricKatyLand
Mere Wife | Maria Dahvana Headley
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Beowulf retelling set in contemporary, exurban commuter town, after the Iraq war. Grendel's mother comes back from war pregnant and transformed. She retreats inside a mountain overlooking a gated village to protect her son, but he befriends the leading family's son. Violence and revelations ensue.

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ElectricKatyLand
MacRieve | Kresley Cole
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Another fun, steamy Immortals After Dark installment. Emotionally scarred werewolf falls in and out of love with a human professional soccer player, who then turns out to be a succubus. The hero is a jerk multiple times, but because the heroine wants it to work out, they get their happily ever after.

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ElectricKatyLand
Lothaire | Kresley Cole
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I suggest reading other Immortals After Dark novels before this one, because Lothaire's redemption (of sorts) is gratifying. Millenia-old powerful, vengeful vampire lord falls in love with a possessed mortal from Appalachia. Very, very over the top (like most of the series) but it works.

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ElectricKatyLand
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I didn't know much at all about the Belgian Congo, and this book filled that gap. King Leopold of Belgian set up a private colony in the Congo for himself (not even for his country) and extracted rubber and millions of millions of $$$ while systematically destroying lives, cultures, and futures of the people who lived there. Horrific and under-publicized.

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ElectricKatyLand
The Great Alone | Kristin Hannah
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I told my husband that this book was “teenage true love + doomsday prepping + Goodbye Earl in Alaska in the 70s“ and I stand by that text message summary.

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ElectricKatyLand
Mehso-so

This one didn't quite come together for me. Pros: the dialogue had sparks, and the set up of a widow and her husband's ex-mistress teaming up to run a boarding house was compelling. Cons: the hero was a cop trying to stamp out cigar smugglers, which I wasn't feeling at the moment, and the heroine's perspective felt overwritten at times. Overall a 7/10.

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ElectricKatyLand
Pickpick

Loved this one. Aristocratic heroine lives alone with several rescue animals; heroine is a self-made man renovating and trying to sell the mansion next door. Tessa Dare's character's dialogue, friendships, and development are always excellent - this one is no exception.

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ElectricKatyLand
Mehso-so

My third Enneagram book. The test was useful, but there wasn't much prescriptive or applied/actionable once you discovered your personality. This is a good introduction and explanation, but I preferred “The Road Back to You“ and “Sacred Enneagram.“

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ElectricKatyLand
Lincoln in the Bardo | George Saunders
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I've never read anything like this book. We listened to this one, and it definitely earned the 2018 Audiobook of the Year award. The action follows President Lincoln in a graveyard following the death of his son Willy, as well as the souls of the cemetery dwellers who haven't passed on to the other side. Curious, clever, wrenching, bawdy, and powerful. Go in with your mind open and you might also be amazed.

11 likes1 stack add
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ElectricKatyLand
Bound For Eden | Tess Lesue
Panpan

Though published in 2018, this reads like an old-school romance, and not in a good way. The hero is a philandering jerk, there's an uncomfortable love triangle between the hero, heroine, and her sister, and the racial dynamics are problematic at best (a character called The Mexican; a stereotypical Native American who shows up for barely two chapters; fugitive slaves used to show the white heroine's goodness and the white villains' badness).

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ElectricKatyLand
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This was my second go-round with the Enneagram and I enjoyed it much more this time. This book is an accessible entry point to the spiritual dimensions of personality types, and how to apply the Enneagram's insights to recognizing your own patterns, tendencies, and flaws.

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ElectricKatyLand
Pickpick

I cried through most of this book. Providing a journalistic account of the Charleston massacre, Hawes' paints a detailed, devastating portrait of the victims, the survivors, and their families during the attack and the aftermath. A hard read but a worthwhile one.

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ElectricKatyLand
Perfect Gravity | Vivien Jackson
Panpan

I really enjoyed the first book in this techno-SFF series, but Perfect Gravity didn't work for me. The pacing felt rushed, and I was never convinced that the hacker vet hero and the former senator heroine were really into each other. Their secrets were confusing, and the surrounding post-apocolyptic political drama felt disconnected from the love story.

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ElectricKatyLand
Gilead | Marilynne Robinson
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Beautiful reflection on life and faith, told through the letters of an aging, small-town pastor to his young son. Robinson's sentences are breathtaking, and I savored entire passages wrestling with how to live a faithful, spiritual life in the messiness of reality. I see why this is one of President Obama's favorites.

7 likes1 stack add
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ElectricKatyLand
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Another gem from Sarah MacLean. Physically and emotionally wounded, overprotective underground lord falls in love with a whip-smart would-be shipping mogul who is trying to convince her dad and brother to give her the chance to run the family business. Trust, revenge, and family secrets + sizzling chemistry = a great romance.

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ElectricKatyLand
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Accessible, straight-forward account of how race and racism permeate our society, and how to talk about it (especially if you're white). Digestible chapters with actionable suggestions. Recommend.

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ElectricKatyLand
Feed | Mira Grant
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My first zombie book, and I liked it! Set in an alternative, zombie-laden future, this book follows a brother-sister pair of journalists covering the presidential campaign. Snarky, first-person perspectives and thoughtful details made this one a fun read.

1 like1 stack add
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ElectricKatyLand
Pickpick

We love to watch American Ninja Warrior, and Akbar's book is as uplifting and positive as his commentary on the show. I listened to this on audiobook and enjoyed the blend of biography, encouragement, and real life examples of people pursuing their passions.

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ElectricKatyLand
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I listened to this one on audiobook and had to pause, rewind, and take a moment to let the words sink in multiple times each chapter. Laymon is a beautiful writer and this book flayed me. If you want to grapple with identity, race, abuse, family dynamics, truth/lies, trust and just about anything else, let Laymon guide you. Can't recommend highly enough.

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ElectricKatyLand
Desperation Road | Michael Farris Smith
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This book left me breathless. Set in southern Mississippi, the novel explores what justice looks like in a broken world. Maben is on the run from a hard life and a fatal encounter with a sleazy cop. Russell, just released from Parchman for a drunken driving manslaughter charge, struggles to adjust to being home. Together, they weigh how to balance their pasts against an uncertain future.

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ElectricKatyLand
Polaris Rising: A Novel | Jessie Mihalik
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Outstanding. I've been on a SciFi kick lately, and this romance between a renegade heiress and a most-wanted fugitive was a delight. The hero and heroine learn to trust each other as they plot to take down their shared enemies. Family (found and biological) ties are strong and the supporting characters are well developed. I am looking forward to the next installment!

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ElectricKatyLand
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I listened to this on audiobook and enjoyed this sci-fi classic set in a crumbling San Francisco full of robots, bounty hunters, and occasions to question the nature of reality.

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ElectricKatyLand
Say No to the Duke | Eloisa James
Mehso-so

I usually love Eloisa James, but this book didn't do it for me. There was a quasi-love-triangle for most of the story, which isn't my favorite, and the villainous cousin plot line is a bit over-the-top as well. In sum: outwardly proper sister of the notorious Wildes of Lindlow Castle is ready to marry, and her match may be her brother's war-damaged friend who gets on her nerves.

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ElectricKatyLand
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Inspiring and extremely, sadly relevant. Shannon Watts describes her passion and motivation for preventing gun violence, what led her to establish Moms Demand Action, and outlines a way forward in these dark times. Full of wisdom, humility, and conviction.

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ElectricKatyLand
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Stand-alone spinoff from Night Huntress series, though it would enrich the reading to have a passing familiarity with some of the characters. Law guardian heroine is hiding secrets about her family/past while teaming up with a notorious playboy vampire to takedown the demon who holds his soul. Violent but in a fun way (for me), with a multilayered romance and sense of adventure.

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ElectricKatyLand
Nightchaser | Amanda Bouchet
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Really enjoyed this SciFi/Fantasy romance between a bounty hunter with conflicted motivations and a rebel with a secret past. Will he turn her in? Can she trust him? Can they stand up against the oppressive, corrupt space overlords? Great dialogue, rich romance, complex supporting characters, and good set up for the next novel without being a cliffhanger.

3 likes1 stack add
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ElectricKatyLand
Pickpick

Hilarious, biting satire that skewers race, class, and society as a whole. Very much a sendup of 1980s New York City, the themes are equally as touchy and poignant in 2019.

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ElectricKatyLand
Nimona | Noelle Stevenson
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Loved this graphic novel about a shapeshifting sidekick to a Super Villain. Their relationship is so sweet, and the exploration of who/what is a villain vs. a 'good guy' resonated with me.

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ElectricKatyLand
Strange Practice | Vivian Shaw
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Dr. Greta Helsing is a physician to non-human Londoners. Fun, campy thriller as Greta and her friends seek to save London's undead and human populations from zealous killer zombie monks.

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ElectricKatyLand
A Ruthless Proposition | Natasha Anders
Mehso-so

TW: miscarriage. Was NOT expecting that in the book and it was pretty devastating. Well written love story between a captain of industry who has a fling with his best friend's sister, who's also his employee. That dynamic is iffy, and the hero has some major jackass moments. High on drama and angst. I was definitely cheering for the heroine to get her Happily Ever After, and she does.

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ElectricKatyLand
Dark Desires | Eve Silver
Mehso-so

Gothic romance/mystery-light set against Jack the Ripper. The heroine is penniless but scrappy and ends up working as a maid in a secretive anatomist's house. She ends up using her artistic talents to help with his research, but is he The Ripper? Will they fall in love? Occasionally confusing plot, and poor communication abounds, but overall ok.

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ElectricKatyLand
In Too Deep | Tracey Alvarez
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Second chance romance set on an island off the coast of New Zealand. Heroine is a police diver who hasn't been home since her father died 9 years ago; hero is her childhood crush/high school fling. They broke each other's hearts and have to figure out how to co-exist without fighting for the benefit of their families. Surprise! They work through their issues and find their happily ever after.

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ElectricKatyLand
Augustown | Kei Miller
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Loved this one. Set outside of Kingston, Jamaica, and shifting between the distant past, near past, and present, this novel captures the rhythms of downtrodden but hopeful communities. A preacher flies; a cross-class teen romance has a ripple effect; pride and oppression and opportunity are in tension.

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ElectricKatyLand
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Young widow and her stepdaughter‘s much younger ex have a steamy affair, ultimately realizing it is much more than a fling. The illicit nature of the relationship is mostly in the heroine‘s mind, and she grows as she decides to pursue a relationship.

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ElectricKatyLand
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Tóibín takes on a Greek myth and humanizes it. Told alternately from the perspective of Clytemnestra, Orestes, and Electra, the family members grapple with Agamemnon‘s decision to sacrifice his other daughter. Repercussions and murder and intrigue abound.

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ElectricKatyLand
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Economist Emily Oster explores parenting dogma and myths by dissecting what the evidence actually says. Comforting, insightful, and informative read on many major decisions new parents make, from how to feed your baby to how to discipline toddlers. Strongly recommend!