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EmMcKee

EmMcKee

Joined March 2019

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EmMcKee
Varina | Charles Frazier
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"A deep belief that your moment in time is the Pinnacle, the only standard of judgment extending from the creation of light until the black apocalypse, that what you believe right now is eternal truth because you believe it so fervently--those deep beliefs so crucial at the moment but none of them more permanent than a puff of air across a palmful of dry talcum."

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EmMcKee
Varina | Charles Frazier
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"Oh, Mary said, life is mostly just what happens. Choice or chance or fate, gods or not. Like it or not. Things happen, we do what we think is in our best interests or just convenient, and then we live with the consequences."

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EmMcKee
The Testaments: A Novel | Margaret Atwood
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"All that was necessary was a law degree and a uterus: a lethal combination."

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EmMcKee
Good Omens | Gaiman, Neal
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"Then he'd tried believing in the Universe, which seemed sound enough until he'd innocently started reading new books with words like Chaos and Time and Quantum in the titles. He'd found that even the people whose job of work was, so to speak, the Universe, didn't really believe in it and were actually quite proud of not knowing what it really was or even if it could theoretically exist. To Newt's straightforward mind this was intolerable."

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EmMcKee
Good Omens | Gaiman, Neal
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Firstly, God moves in extremely mysterious, not to say, circuitous ways. God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players [i.e., everybody.] to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won‘t tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.

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review
EmMcKee
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Pickpick

The writing is lyrical and flowing, kin to Pat Conroy's descriptions of similar Low Country flats and sea, and nearly as well-written. But whereas Conroy klunks the reader on the head with long passages of beauty, Owens flows into the reader slowly, like tides coming in and then receding. I think it's a triumph of a first novel, and I very much hope that she will publish again. Highly recommend.

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EmMcKee
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"Marsh is not swamp. Marsh is a space of light, where grass grows in water, and water flows into the sky. Slow-moving creeks wonder, carrying the orb of the sun with them to the sea, and long-legged birds lift with u expected grace--as though not built to fly--against the road of a thousand snow geese."

CassieT I can‘t wait to read this one! I have a few more books on my list to get through first, but I hope to get to it soon. I‘ve heard such good things. 1mo
EmMcKee Just finished it--could hardly bear to put it down the last couple of days despite kids with a tummy bug! I found it fascinating, with beautiful descriptions of the low country of my home state. It ended up feeling super personal for me, and I think you may share my thoughts about Tate reminding me a LOT of Matt. 1mo
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EmMcKee
Parkland | Dave Cullen
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Pickpick

I read Columbine years back, and was expectant this this book would be just as well-written and researched; it was. However, the tone and approach Cullen takes in Parkland is distinctly different than Columbine, with years of second-hand trauma informing the shape this book takes. Parkland wasn't entirely what I expected, but it's definitely another accomplishment and well worth the read.

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EmMcKee
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Pickpick

This novel was mind-bending for me, and fascinating in the best way. The self-destructive characters are entirely relatable, and the way the story weaves and bobs amongst them while incorporating the music/pause theme is absolutely artistic. Great book, highly recommend.

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EmMcKee
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"But Bennie knew that what he was bringing into the world was shit.Too clear, too clean. The problem was precision, perfection; the problem was digitization, which sucked the life out of everything that got smeared through its microscopic mesh. Film, photography, music: dead. An aesthetic Holocaust! Bennie knew better than to say this stuff aloud."

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EmMcKee
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Pickpick

This was in some ways an incredibly difficult book to read, from a previous-trauma-perspective; however, I also plan to give it to my children as teenagers when I feel that they are old enough to learn what this author has to tell them. This book is not clinical, it is written for the layman by an expert, and is invaluable information. Highly recommend.

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EmMcKee
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"Who knew, or cared, the names of the Turks who had ordered the destruction of the Buddha's at Bamiyan? Yet living or dead: their acts stood. It was the worst kind of immortality. Intentionally or no: I had extinguished a light at the heart of the world."

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EmMcKee
Three Women | Lisa Taddeo
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Pickpick

I devoured this book--such that I didn't stop to type out passages that knocked something loose in my soul here and there. Highly recommend reading for any woman. It is eye-opening, deft, deep, and genuine.

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EmMcKee
Know My Name: A Memoir | Chanel Miller
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"Jennifer J. Freyd...wrote an open letter to the administration. She condemned their 'self-congratulatory and defensive stance'. She discussed a term I had never heard of, institutional betrayal, which can cause victims 'harm that occurs above and beyond that caused by the sexual violence itself. The irony is that institutional betrayal is not only bad for those dependent upon the institution, but comes to haunt the institution itself.'"

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EmMcKee
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"Levine argues that over the course of evolution, human beings never developed sophisticated and accurate skills to detect deception as it was happening because there is no advantage to spending your time scrutinizing the words and behaviors of those around you. The advantage to human beings lies in assuming that strangers are truthful."

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EmMcKee
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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"He talked like a college white boy, read books when he didn't have to, and mined them for uranium to power his own personal A-bomb. Still--sturdy."

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EmMcKee
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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"A figment from tenth-grade science struck him: a Perpetual Misery Machine, one that operated by itself without human agency. Also, Archimedes, one of his first encyclopedia finds. Violence is the only lever big enough to move the world."

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EmMcKee
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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"Reassembling those fragments into confirmation of a shared darkness: If it is true for you, it is true for someone else, and you are no longer alone."

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EmMcKee
Ask Again, Yes: A Novel | Mary Beth Keane
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"There was no real way for a person to try something out, see if he liked it--the words he'd chosen when he told uncle Patsy that he'd gotten into the police academy-because you try it and try it out and try it a little longer and the next thing it's who you are. One minute he'd been standing in a bog on the other side of the Atlantic and next thing he knew he was a cop. In America. In the worst neighborhood of the best known city in the world."

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EmMcKee
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"The kettle clicked off and I warmed the teapot, then spooned in some first-flush Darjeeling, my mind still focused on the putative beauty of my slumbering troubadour."

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blurb
EmMcKee
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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This is so delightful that I couldn't parse it down into simple quotes.

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EmMcKee
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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"War is the greatest slayer of libraries."

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EmMcKee
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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"But if something you learn or observe or imagine can be set down and saved, and if you can see your life reflected in previous lives, and can imagine it reflected in subsequent ones, you can begin to discover order and harmony. You know that you are a part of a larger story that has shape and purpose--a tangible, familiar past and a constantly refreshed future."

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EmMcKee
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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"As a kid, he dabbled in the minor deliquincies and pranks that delighted an audience. Girls liked him. He was charming, funny, dimpled, daring. He could talk anyone into anything. He had a gift for drama and invention. He was a storyteller, a yarn-spinner, and an agile liar; he was good at fancying up facts to make his life seem less plain and mingy."

What a gorgeous set of sentences.

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EmMcKee
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Right in the introduction page!!

"Memory believes before knowing remembers." (Quoting William Faulkner in Light In August)

I had to read that several times to really let it sink in. Wow.

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EmMcKee
Love and Ruin: A Novel | Paula McLain
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"It seemed unlikely that I would ever see him or any of the others from the ship again. Something had happened to us all, something that might never be fully comprehensible to anyone who had not gone through it. That was the thing about experience. It took distant strangers and made them family. A family of one moment. There was no other way to see it, even as we scattered to the wind."

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EmMcKee
Love and Ruin: A Novel | Paula McLain
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"Not that I didn't have ambition. Sometimes I thought I was entirely made of it. As I'd said to Kyle, I meant to show him and everyone else that I could be a proper journalist, a writer others admired and respected and remembered. I wanted my name to count but for the moment was still an apprentice, and particularly in this crowd, where heroes were milling about, ready to be clung to. It would take time for me to earn my way. To prove myself..."

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EmMcKee
The Hate U Give | Angela Thomas
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"I can't believe I let Hailey say that. Or has she always joked like that? Did I always laugh because I thought I had to? That's the problem. We let people say stuff, and they say it so much that it becomes okay to them and normal for us. What's the point of having a voice if you're gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn't be?"

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EmMcKee
The Hate U Give | Angie Thomas
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"Ain't this some shit? Not even five minutes ago, I was stuck-up because I go to Williamson. Now I'm lucky? Trust me, my school has hoes too. Hoedom is universal."

I'm dying. Page 7 and I can already see that I'm going to adore this novel!

IvoryLunatic I loved this book! I have some recommendations if you'd like along these lines too.
5mo
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EmMcKee
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"My favorite part of the Gospels was in Matthew, when Jesus said: love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you. I shared in this desire for moral superiority over my enemies. Jesus always wanted to be the better person, and so did I. I underlined this passage in red pencil several times, to illustrate that I understood the Christian way of life."

Wow

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EmMcKee
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"I knew it was my own fault: I had gone out of my way to provoke Nick into fighting with me. Now, lying on my own in the silent house, I felt I'd lost control of everything. All I could decide was whether or not to have sex with Nick; I couldn't decide how to feel about it, or what it meant. And although I could decide to fight with him, and what we would fight about, I couldn't decide what he would say, or how much it would hurt me."

LonelyPineReads I really need to read this! I absolutely loved Normal People! 5mo
EmMcKee I also read Normal People first, and having just finished this one, I'm really struck by the similarities and the differences between the two! Definitely let me know what you think when you read CwF! 5mo
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review
EmMcKee
Normal People | Sally Rooney
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Pickpick

I am still in a bit of shock from this novel--a bit gutted, honestly. Absolutely worth a read, though if you are anything like me you'll chuck it across the room in a temper (onto the couch, let's not get crazy and risk actual damage to the tome, now!) at least a half dozen times. And that was all in the space of the single day it took me to devour this book.

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EmMcKee

"For the majority of the human species, and for tens of thousands of years, the idea that humanity includes every human being on the face of the Earth does not exist at all. The designation stops at the border of each tribe, or linguistic group, sometimes even at the edge of a village."

Quoting Claude Levi-Strauss from the book Say Nothing

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EmMcKee
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"If Dolours had a big fault, it was perhaps that she lived out too urgently the ideals to which so many others also purported to be dedicated. She was a liberator but never managed to liberate herself from those ideas. Sometimes, we are imprisoned within ideals."

Eamonn McCann, quoted in Say Nothing

Suet624 Yes. Great quote. I felt badly for Price. 5mo
EmMcKee In military hierarchy, those who give the orders are held the most responsible, and the entire thing hinges greatly on this point; Price and Hughes were left out to dry. No wonder she was bitter and twice-traumatized. 5mo
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EmMcKee
A Grief Observed | C.S. Lewis
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"But there are two questions here. In which sense may it be a house of cards? Because the things I am believing are only a dream, or because I only dream that I believe them?"

CassieT Are you enjoying this? I love this book, but then I‘m a huge CS Lewis fan in general. I loved the Narnia books when I was young, but now I really appreciate his other works. He was brilliant. 5mo
EmMcKee It was a great read, honestly. Despite any differences in beliefs and whatnot, he's got an incredible mind and I hugely enjoyed his intelligence!! Thanks again for suggesting it--if my friend were more of a reader I think it would provide her with a lot of comfort. 5mo
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EmMcKee
A Grief Observed | C. S. Lewis

"Fate (or whatever it is) delights to produce a great capacity and then frustrate it. Beethoven went deaf."

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EmMcKee
A Grief Observed | C. S. Lewis

"It is hard to have patience with people who say 'There is no death' or 'Death doesn't matter.' There is death. And whatever is matters. And whatever happens has consequences, and it and they are irrevocable and irreversible."

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EmMcKee

"Whatever had Lee spooked, she found a familiar way of handling that stress and all the others: the shortage of facts, the lack of an ideal protagonist, her unfamiliarity with the lives of African Americans, a certain uncomfortable moral muddiness concerning black criminality in a criminally racist society, and a related discomfort with her own deep delight in the self-serving mythologies of the southern Gentry."

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EmMcKee

(Harper Lee, in a letter to Gregory Peck)

"Writing is easy; all you do is sit staring at the blank sheet of paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead."

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EmMcKee

"Nothing writes itself. Left to its own devices, the world will never transform into words, and no matter how many pages of notes and documents a reporting trip generates, the one that matters most always starts out blank."

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EmMcKee
Educated: A Memoir | Tara Westover

Everything I had worked for, all my years of study, had been to purchase for myself this one privilege: to see and experience more truths than those given to me by my father, and to use those truths to construct my own mind. I had come to believe that the ability to evaluate many ideas, many histories, many points of view, was at the heart of what it means to self-create. If I yielded now, I would lose more than an argument.

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review
EmMcKee
Speak | Laurie Halse Anderson
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Pickpick

I wish I had found this book decades ago. This is beautifully written in the perfect voice of a teenager who‘s been through a trauma. A must read for anyone who‘s been a victim of an assault.