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Joanne1

Joanne1

Joined May 2016

Life gets in the way of my reading. 🇦🇺
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The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
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Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
review
Joanne1
Pickpick

Good, fun junior fiction novel for ages 8+. Left it on a cliff hanger so looking forward to book 2.

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Joanne1
The Nancys | R.W.R. McDonald
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Mehso-so

I have many thoughts about this book. There was certainly enough mystery to keep me reading, particularly in the second half. The characters were quirky and unique but also felt a bit like caricatures. The dialogue was often weird and the sexual innuendo got boring very quickly. I didn‘t feel it lived up to the quotes on the front so I felt a bit disappointed by the whole thing in the end.

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Joanne1
A Most Magical Girl | Karen Foxlee
Pickpick

Karen Foxlee is one of the best middle grade/YA crossover author I‘ve read recently. This fantasy/thriller had my ten year old and myself in its grip from page one. There‘s magic, tragedy, heroism and the ultimate triumph of good over evil. A perfect combination, perfectly written. Highly recommended!

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Joanne1
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Pickpick

The incredible collection of essays pulled me out of a reading slump in such an unexpected way. This book blows the stereotypes around schizophrenia out of the water and I hope it destroys some of the stigma along with it. Every now and again you come across a book everyone should read. This is one of them. Now to read everything else Wang has written!

46 likes3 stack adds
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Joanne1
The Rosie Result | Graeme Simsion
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Pickpick

I was super reluctant to read this book given how much I hated the previous one in the series. However a few friends spoke highly of it so I decided to give it a go. I‘m really glad I did. It‘s funny, surprising and really sweet, like the Rosie project was. Skip the middle book and read the first and third only is my tip.

CarolynM I agree. First one was fun, second was rubbish, this one might even be better than the first. 2w
29 likes1 comment
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Joanne1
The Testaments: A Novel | Margaret Atwood
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Pickpick

I thoroughly enjoyed this follow up to The Handmaids Tale which I read for my final year of school in 1997. The different accounts from different characters were really engaging and interesting. And the audio version read by a cast of 3 main readers was excellent. With that aside I‘m not sure it‘s Booker winner worthy.

Jerdencon I totally agree with you. It was good but didn‘t think it was award good and I‘m a fan of the original book and TV show. 2w
49 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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Joanne1
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It seems non-fiction is the solution to my current reading drought. I can‘t follow a complex storyline and I don‘t really cate about characters. But fact, real life experience and something I can pick up and put down is working for me.

Julsmarshall Same! I‘m loving non fiction right now! 2w
Mogoeg I read an essay of hers years ago published on The Toast and thought it was amazing. I'm glad to see this book get some attention - I think she is a really talented writer. 2w
Joanne1 @Julsmarshall so much good non-fiction around. Have you got any favourites? @Mogoeg I heard about this on a podcast and immediately put a hold on it at the library. It‘s amazing, and hopefully stigma-busting!! And beautifully written to boot. 2w
Julsmarshall My fave no fiction right now are She Said, Catch and Kill, Dopesick and Bad Blood. 2w
41 likes4 comments
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Joanne1

I usually read 1 physical book a week sometimes more plus listen to 1-2 audiobooks each week. At the moment though I just can‘t concentrate on reading at all. I‘ve picked up and put down so many novels. I can‘t keep my focus, I don‘t care about any characters nor follow a storyline. It makes me feel like I‘m not myself. How do I get my reading mojo back?

sprainedbrain What usually works for me is to read something very different from all of the books I‘ve been trying to read... for me, that‘s usually something very short, funny or a really ‘trashy‘ romance novel. I call it a palate cleanser and I can usually get back to my planned reading after that. Good luck! 3w
CarolynM I've been a bit out of sorts with reading over the last few weeks too. Maybe there's something in the air. I try not to let it worry me and just keep trying things until something sticks. I think I'm getting over it. Hope you do soon🙂 3w
Sace Like @CarolynM I try to just accept it and not stress too much. And like @sprainedbrain i pick up something short and quick like Nancy Drew or a middle grade novel 3w
See All 6 Comments
Sace And wow I wish you could edit comments on the Android app. That should be a capital "I" up there. And a period. Also meant to add that lately I've also been listening to an audiobook of a book I have a physical copy of too. So I listen with the physical book in front of me. That has helped my focus as well. 3w
Chrissyreadit I agree with @sprainedbrain - when I‘m struggling I read a fun easy read that does not take much thought, but I also listen to bookish podcasts. They tend to give me inspiration too. 3w
Graywacke I hate slumps. I don‘t have any answers for you, but I sympathize. Happens to me all too often. 3w
31 likes6 comments
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Joanne1
Testaments | Margaret Atwood
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Back in the world of Gilead after all this time. Atwood‘s genius at work again.

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Joanne1
Homegoing: A novel | Yaa Gyasi
Pickpick

Epic, complex and multi-generational story of the history and legacy of slavery. It‘s brilliantly told through the voices of each generation but I did find it tricky to keep who was who straight in my head. And I struggled through a couple of the chapters. I would not recommend it as a beach read!! This one requires brainpower.

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Joanne1
Fake | Stephanie Wood
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Pickpick

The true story of one woman‘s experience with a lying, manipulative narcissist of a boyfriend. Stephanie Wood is an intelligent, well-respected journalist, not someone who ever expected to be prey for a con man yet that‘s exactly what happened. When she realised she use her journalistic talent to explain what really happened and why. I found the style a little clunky at first but then utterly compelling. This is fascinating and insightful reading.

JennyM I‘m so curious about this one #stacked 👍 1mo
LeeRHarry One of my book group members read this one and said it was interesting, it made for great discussion. 1mo
40 likes5 stack adds2 comments
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Joanne1
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Pickpick

The fact that this book even exists is a remarkable feat of determination and inner strength. Boochani write this entirely on a contraband mobile phone send as 100,000s what‘s app messages in Farsi to his interpreter. It‘s poetic and devastating I‘m and shows the cruelty with which the Australian government set out to break already traumatised and desperate refugees.

MrsMalaprop Such an incredible feat. I‘m going to the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival later this month, where he will be headlining, via WhatsApp! So messed up. Talk about a ‘check your privilege‘ moment 🙁. 1mo
Tamra Amazing! 1mo
36 likes2 comments
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Joanne1
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The fact that this book even exists is a remarkable feat of determination and inner strength. Boochani write this entirely on a contraband mobile phone send as 100,000s what‘s app messages in Farsi to his interpreter. It‘s poetic and devastating and shows the cruelty with which the Australian government set out to break already traumatised and desperate refugees.

18 likes2 stack adds
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Joanne1
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Oh man I could not be more angry or ashamed of my own government as I‘ve been listening to this audiobook. The cruelty for cruelty‘s sake is breathtaking.

Rissreads I've been holding off reading this because I'm sure it will make me so sad and mad. 1mo
34 likes1 comment
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Joanne1
Pickpick

I adored this book and the audio narration was wonderful, despite some oddly places music. The dog, Enzo is easily one of the best literary digs ever! But the cruelty of the grandparents made me so so cross.

33 likes1 stack add
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Joanne1
Homegoing: A novel | Yaa Gyasi
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I‘m struggling a little with this one. It‘s really not suited as a beach read and I‘m having trouble keeping the characters straight in my head.

violabrain Definitely not a beach read! But one of the most amazing books I have ever read. 2mo
Nute I‘ve given up on trying to keep characters straight in my head when there are many characters or the writing is complex or confusing. I go right for pen and paper and keeping notes.🙃 2mo
Libby1 I struggled with it too and actually bailed. I was feeling tired of reading about exceptionally beautiful main characters. 🤷🏼‍♀️ 2mo
51 likes3 comments
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Joanne1
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Pickpick

This was a reread for me but this time I read it aloud to my ten year old daughter. We both loved it but I struggled to get through the last few chapters as I was weeping so much I had trouble reading aloud. Thankfully my gorgeous empathetic child cuddled me tight while I struggled through. Truly I think everyone should read this book.

Louise Such a sweet photo of you two! 💕 2mo
JennyM Gorgeous photo ❤️❤️❤️ 2mo
CarolynM What a good daughter. ❤️ You both look lovely. 2mo
Nute Sweet photo! 2mo
52 likes4 comments
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Joanne1
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Pickpick

Ripped through this one on two short flight on our way to beautiful Daydream Island. It was not quite what I was expecting but was really perfect travel reading. Super engaging but nothing too mentally taxing.

CarolynM I love the Whitsundays. So beautiful😍 Hope you get some sunshine. 2mo
Joanne1 @CarolynM this is our first time. I love the South Pacific so we‘ve usually sought the sun in that part of the world. It‘s probably about time we visited this part of our own country. Sadly I think we‘re expecting overcast days the whole time but it‘s warm at least. 2mo
62 likes2 comments
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Joanne1
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We‘re heading north for some sun and a mini holiday. Of course I‘ve packed more books than I could possibly read but that makes me feel good.

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Joanne1
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Pickpick

As a librarian and total book nerd I found much of this book fascinating. I did feel a little bogged down in some of the history and personalities of the past librarians but it was well worth persevering with.

55 likes2 stack adds
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Joanne1
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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My view this evening while I enjoy a quiet moment with my book.

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Joanne1
Lily and the Octopus | Steven Rowley
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Pickpick

I enjoyed it but not as much as I was hoping/expecting to. The whole part where they set sail to chase the octopus completely lost me.

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Joanne1
Mandatory Murder | Steven Schubert
Pickpick

Interesting Australian true crime story set in the outback town of Katherine and highlighting the extreme injustice of mandatory sentencing. The audiobook was well narrated and had the feel of podcast.

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Joanne1
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Reading a book called The Library Book in the library ( well the staff lunch room but it‘s still in the building).

chaoticgoodhufflepuff Libraryception! 2mo
59 likes1 comment
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Joanne1
Lily and the Octopus | Steven Rowley
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My latest read and it‘s a bit of a tear jerker.

51 likes1 stack add
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Joanne1
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Pickpick

Stunning! Such beautiful writing and sense of place. I was right there in the North Carolina marshlands with Kya, my heart aching and breaking with hers. There were parts that I thought a bit unbelievable but that didn‘t even really matter, I couldn‘t put it down regardless of that.

LiteraryinLititz Great description! I was also really captivated by this book. 2mo
Cathythoughts Great review! Loved this. I saw somewhere on Litsy that this one is a bit similar...( im getting it ♥️) 2mo
Joanne1 @LiteraryinLititz captivated us the perfect word for the experience of reading this! @Cathythoughts thanks for the recommendation, I‘ve added it my to TBR. 2mo
53 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Joanne1
The Place on Dalhousie | Melina Marchetta
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Pickpick

This was a really sweet Australian story by an author I‘ve read a lot and never been disappointed. What I didn‘t realise is this story is the third in a series (though you can read each as a stand alone) of which I‘ve already ready the first. Must chase down The Piper‘s Son now.

CarolynM I loved this one but I haven't read the earlier ones. They're on my list now🙂 2mo
41 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Joanne1
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This one has really got me in its grips. Breaking me heart more and more. But can someone tell me what grits are? I‘ve never come across them in Australia.

Maude They are a hot ceral/porridge made with corn meal. 2mo
KathyWheeler They generally look like this: https://food52.com/recipes/33556-sean-brock-s-southern-grits. I like them with cheese. 2mo
LeeRHarry They are not very tasty😏 2mo
See All 11 Comments
margreads I must read this. Been saying that for a while now 2mo
ScrappyMags If you make them right they are very good - with a rich smooth taste. Make them wrong they taste like wet sand. Corn meal is correct and here in the southern US where I moved to 11 yrs ago they take their grits VERY seriously! 😂 2mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks You‘re not missing anything 🤣🤣🤣 2mo
Lcsmcat Think polenta, but not as stiff. Shrimp and Grits is my husband‘s favorite. https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/shrimp_and_grits/ If you try any grits be sure you don‘t use “instant” or any other quickie kind. You want the real, stoneground kind or they won‘t have any taste. 2mo
Lcsmcat @ScrappyMags You got that right! Don‘t insult our grits. 😀 2mo
marleed I love your question!? It‘s a staple breakfast food of the Southern US. I like them. If you are an oatmeal kind of person (like me), they are well worth trying. 2mo
ScrappyMags @Lcsmcat lol true! Instant grits are gross! Stoneground grits are awesome!! 2mo
Joanne1 Okay, this has been very enlightening. I was thinking something like polenta, but prepaid more like polenta crosses with porridge (which I think is the same as oatmeal). To be honest I‘m not a fan of either but if I‘m ever in southern USA I‘ll look for proper grits. I‘m up for trying anything. Thanks for the education y‘all (did I get that right?). 2mo
59 likes2 stack adds11 comments
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Joanne1
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Pickpick

Another stellar text from children‘s author Emily Rodda. This plot-driven tale of adventure is a great introduction to the fantasy genre. Ideal for middle grade readers - my ten year old adores it.

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Joanne1
The Hate U Give | Angie Thomas
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Pickpick

I can see why there was so much buzz around this book when it came out and it‘s one I‘d definitely recommend to teenagers if I was still teaching... but I found the language and writing style just too YA for me. Still a pick but not as good as I was expecting.

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Joanne1
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Pickpick

It‘s been years (and years and years) since I last read the first Harry Potter book. Listening to Stephen Fry narrate it was just so divine.

Jeg After book week at school I decided I really needed to get into Harry. It has never appealed to me. But I‘m now “ in the loop” 😊. I watched all the movies and I‘m about to read the books. Never done it that way around before. Usually book then film. My grandson will be very happy. And yes I did enjoy the story. 3mo
Joanne1 @Jeg I‘d highly recommend the audiobook with Stephen Fry narrating. Welcome to the world of Potter by the way. 3mo
51 likes2 comments
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Joanne1
The Enchanted Wood | Enid Blyton
Pickpick

Such a sweet and adventurous tale which I shared with Miss 8 who doesn‘t normally have the focus to stick at a chapter book start to finish even if it‘s being read to her. I did have to wonder what on earth the parents were doing while their children stayed all night up a big tree with strange folk.

Jeg 😊 yes I wonder? 3mo
30 likes1 comment
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Joanne1
Pickpick

Brutal, searingly honest, incredibly sad but ultimately redeeming, the story of Corey Whyte leaves little to the imagination and a deep sense of anger regarding our foster care system. I think I‘ve met my quota for this style of memoir for some time but I‘m glad I read this.

31 likes1 stack add
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Joanne1
The Hate U Give | Angie Thomas
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I‘m finding this a little bit too YA for my tastes but I can see why it‘s so popular.

CarolynM I listed to this as a talking book which really made the language come alive. I don't think I would have enjoyed it so much in print. 3mo
Joanne1 @CarolynM I think you might be on to something here. 3mo
46 likes2 comments
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Joanne1
The Sunday Story Club | Kerry Cue, Doris Imber
Pickpick

I cried in the car during several of these stories and it just illustrates that you never know what‘s happening in other people‘s lives. I found the introduction a bit tedious, and some narrators were better than others but in all I really enjoyed these stories.

38 likes3 stack adds
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Joanne1
Pickpick

There is something so intimate about Sally Rooney‘s writing. The perspective she offers to the reader has a real voyeuristic quality like you‘re seeing parts of the characters‘ lives that only they should know. I think I shall read everything she publishes.

Leftcoastzen Nice review! Totally agree. 3mo
38 likes1 comment
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Joanne1
Wonder | R. J. Palacio
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Pickpick

A bit of a tear jerker but such a beautiful story made extra special by sharing with my gorgeous ten year old daughter. Like so many of the characters in the novel she is ever empathetic and knows the value of both having and being a true friend.

4thhouseontheleft My daughter's 4th grade teacher organized a weekend outing to see the movie with their students when it first came out. A lot of teachers in our area did this, since the book is incorporated into our anti-bullying curriculum. 😍 3mo
Jeg I loved this book and the movie as did my grandson when he did it at school. 3mo
53 likes2 comments
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Joanne1
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Breakfast with friends. If there‘s one thing Sally Rooney does amazingly well its writing the awkward moments. It‘s cringe-worthy but fabulous.

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Joanne1
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Pickpick

I‘ve always meant to try an Anne Tyler and saw this one on my library audiobook app. It was a lovely story, well told and nicely narrated. What I would call a good palate cleanser. Any other Anne Tyler recommendations?

CarolynM Breathing Lessons is my favourite. Back When We Were Grown-Ups is really good too. 3mo
Blaire Agree with @CarolynM recommendations. I love both of those. 3mo
47 likes3 comments
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Joanne1
Wonder. R.J. Palacio | R J Palacio
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Reading this with Miss10 an we‘re both loving it. She‘s particularly enjoying the changing POV of each section. She‘s been in a bit of a reading slump recently, so where to from here to keep the momentum going?

MrsMalaprop Read Wonder with both my boys ❤️. My Mr10 is reading the Percy Jackson series, and finishing the final HP. Oh, and we started reading Black Beauty together a while ago - need to get back to it! Good luck 😊. 3mo
39 likes1 comment
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Joanne1
The White Girl | Tony Birch
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Pickpick

Loved it! Inspiring, frustrating, at times horrifying and always in awe of the strength of character shown by Odette and Sissy. I am a massive fan of Tony Birch‘s style and this again is one sheds light on the oftentimes forgetter battle of the First Nations people of Australia in the very recent past and the legacy that has continued.

LeeRHarry Stacked! 3mo
37 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Joanne1
The White Girl | Tony Birch
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Another great, but confronting, book from Tony Birch. Set in the western district on Victoria (Australia) in the years leading up to full recognition of Indigenous people in the constitution. The book focuses on Odette and her granddaughter Sissy as they struggle to live and stay together while under the protectionist rules of police and government authorities.

44 likes1 stack add
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Joanne1
Sing, Unburied, Sing | Jesmyn Ward
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Mehso-so

I have mixed feelings about this novel. I enjoyed parts of the story, but I also found myself bored or confused with other aspects. It seemed to get stuck in the mystical stuff and lost momentum. I also disliked the narrators which can really distort my opinion of a book.

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Joanne1
Sing, Unburied, Sing | Jesmyn Ward
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Latest audiobook, not grabbing me as much as I‘d hoped.

Itchyfeetreader I struggled with this one - it really split the crowd at book club 3mo
37 likes1 comment
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Joanne1
Unknown Book 7535597 | Unknown Unknown
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Written by a school librarian I have huge admiration for, this is a guide to getting and keeping kids reading for parents, teachers and libraries. Mostly it‘s gold, but having two children with literacy learning difficulties despite being read to since the day they were born and have huge vocabulary and amazing comprehension, I know only too well that reading doesn‘t always happen as expected. And there‘s nothing like a mother‘s guilt!

CarolynM I feel your pain, neither of my now adult children have ever been readers like their parents are. Sometimes I say it's how they've rebelled against us, but the truth is more complex. My son reads a lot for study but finds it heavy going. My daughter has visual snow and finds print very difficult. 3mo
Joanne1 @CarolynM reading is complex for so many isn‘t it! My two love stories but reading is such a slog, takes the fun out of it for them. Thankfully one loves audiobooks and graphic novels. The other also has sensory issues and she can‘t handle audiobooks at all. I still read to them both and hope I can do that for many more years. 3mo
57 likes2 comments
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Joanne1
The Widow | Fiona Barton
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Pickpick

A dark and gloomy tale for a dark and gloomy day. The Widow isn‘t anything earth-shattering but it‘s a very readable, intriguing mystery that had me flip flopping in my head to nearly the end. Told from multiple POV and both forwards and backwards in time making it structurally interesting.

40 likes1 stack add
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Joanne1
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Pickpick

The last instalment of the Neapolitan novels takes Lila and Lenu through the tumultuous periods of divorce, parenting teenagers and finding space for a thriving and renewing work life. Add to this their complex web of friendships and family, underworld doings, vanished children, lies, betrayal and murder. After four thick novels you‘d think everything would be answered but that would be far too near for Lila and Lenu.

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Joanne1
Wonder | R. J. Palacio
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Life has been very busy recently and I have missed the time reading with my 8 and 10 year old daughters before bed. This weekend we started these two, The Enchanted Wood with the 8 year old and Wonder with the older one. I really do love sharing that quiet time with them at the end of the day.
What are some other great read-aloud books for these ages?

JackOBotts Ronald Dahl is great! 4mo
44 likes1 comment
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Joanne1
Buddha Da | Anne Donovan
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Pickpick

I‘m many books behind on my Goodreads challenge and it‘s partly because of this book. It‘s written in a Scottish dialect making it one requiring me to translate in my head as I read and really take my time. It was almost enough to turn me off, but in the end it‘s what made the book so genuine. I could hear every character and I was in all of their heads. To story is lovely, quirky but it‘s Jimmy, Liz and Anne-Marie that you fall in love with.

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Joanne1
Australia Day | Stan Grant
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Stan Grant holding up a mirror to the dark and often hidden history of colonisation and dispossession of our country. Australia, as a nation, was built on an overtly racist set of policies and we are yet to, as a country, grapple with the consequences of that. A reminder that I, we all, should be reading and listening to aboriginal voices, ones that have been silenced for generations.

28 likes2 stack adds