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LitStephanie

LitStephanie

Joined June 2020

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The Moor's Last Sigh by Salman Rushdie
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LitStephanie
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First glass of wine after Dry January, enjoying this wonderful 1990s movie version of Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband. So many good lines but the above is one of my favorites.

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LitStephanie
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Chapter 16. So Lydgate, new doctor in town, is kindly invited to a dinner party by the Vincys, and he decides to insult another guest, Chichely, by stating that lawyer coroners are incompetent at their jobs, then doubles down and insults post-morten medical examiners, too? Does anyone else think that is a little rude and not the best way to ingratiate yourself in a new town, LOL?

19 likes1 comment
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LitStephanie
Don't Let Go | Harlan Coben
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Pickpick

Listened on audio on a road trip, and it kept me alert! Police officer Nap Dumas never got over the mysterious death of his twin brother and the disappearance of his high school girlfriend. He begins investigating 15 years later when a crime scene with his old girlfriend's prints pops up. It's a good mystery, although I wasn't crazy about how they had the voice actor do intense scenes.

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LitStephanie
The Bodyguard: A Novel | Katherine Center
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Pickpick

I read this in two days while recovering from a cold on the couch. It is a cute rom-com with lots of laughs about a private security agent who heads up a job protecting a movie star while he is in town. Highly recommend for a quick read.

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LitStephanie
The Bodyguard: A Novel | Katherine Center
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Just started this book, but it is already making me laugh out loud. Forget "It's not you, it's me." This girl's boyfriend just straight up tells her the problem is her: she is a workaholic, not fun, and a bad kisser. ?

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LitStephanie
Her Deadly Secrets | Laura Griffin
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Pickpick

I read this entire book and still have no idea why it is called Her Deadly Secrets. It's a pretty good murder mystery, and the main characters, a PI and the private security guy who is hired to protect her after her colleague is murdered while they are working on a case, are likeable.

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LitStephanie
In the Woods | Tana French
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Pickpick

Best book I have read all year. Haunting mystery about detectives investigating the murder of a young girl, which may or may not be related to the disappearance of two children in the same area 20 years ago. This novel is elevated from genre fiction by fresh, arresting imagery and descriptions and depth of the characters. It follows the development, and later gut wrenching dissolution, of the friendship between detectives Rob and Cassie. ⬇️

LitStephanie Truly deep friendships are so precious, and you find yourself desperately hoping they will reconcile even as it becomes increasingly clear that Rob is kind of an emotionally stunted asshole who probably doesn't deserve to have a best friend. I also like how the book shows the gamut of emotions and personal interactions as the law enforcement team works the case. I think this one will leave me thinking a long time. 1mo
18 likes1 stack add1 comment
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LitStephanie
The Sanatorium | Sarah Pearse
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#jolabokaflodswap @MaleficentBookDragon @julieclair
Wow! I am so excited to read this scary sounding book and binge on chocolate! Might have to share with my coworkers. Thank you, Julie! The wrapping paper was beautiful, too.

julieclair Yay! Hope you enjoy the book, and I love that you‘re considering sharing the chocolate. 😀💚♥️💚 1mo
LitStephanie @julieclair I may have spoken too soon. I work from home until after the first of the year, and I don't know if this chocolate is going to last until I go back to the office! 1mo
julieclair LOL! What your co-workers don‘t know won‘t hurt them. 😎😘 1mo
16 likes3 comments
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LitStephanie
In the Woods | Tana French
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This author has such a way with words. I love the description of a little kid who has an adult face as "bansai adult" with a voice like a heavy smoker. So funny! Loving the descriptive language in this book.

SamAnne Loved this one too. 2mo
13 likes1 stack add1 comment
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LitStephanie
German Cooking Today | August Oetker
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Kalter Kartoffelsalat! Very simple recipe where you soak the already cooked potatoes and raw onions in boiling water from cooking the potatoes for a couple of hours to make it creamy. Tagged book is not this cookbook as it isn't in the database. #foodandlit #germany

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LitStephanie
In the Woods | Tana French
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I can't remember if we are supposed to post when we receive our package, but I got mine on the 13th and can't wait to open it!!! #jolabokaflodswap @MaleficentBookDragon @julieclair

julieclair Yay! Only a few more days until we get to open our packages! Hope you enjoy!! 😃 2mo
LitStephanie @julieclair thanks! I look forward to seeing everyone's posts when we open. 2mo
13 likes2 comments
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LitStephanie
Dear Child | Romy Hausmann
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Pickpick

Compelling, dark German thriller with no comic relief. This is the kind of story that makes me take a long look at my life and seriously assess how many weapons I can carry on my person without being crazy. ? Because you might just get kidnapped by a psychopath and drug off to be his bunker wife to replace the last kidnapped wife. The story is told in first person by the "wife" who escaped, the father of the first ⬇️

LitStephanie kidnap victim, and the creepy little daughter of the abducter. The vulture like reporters seem over the top, but maybe they are that way in Germany. The parents of the first victim are kind of a$$holes after what they have been through, which actually makes them more realistic. Good voice talent. #foodandlit #germany 2mo
Reggie The lady who gives drinks out at work, she‘s in her late 60s, she told me her son sent her a taser for Xmas. So maybe a taser, some pepper spray on the keychain, a small blade hidden in your hair if its long enough, and maybe you wear a garter belt where you pack your gun. Lol idk I‘m sure those are just the obvious choices. Maybe you can put some kind of poison in a ring whose top you can twist off? Also, stacked. Sounds intriguing. 2mo
LitStephanie @Reggie A knife in my hair sounds fun, LOL!! And a poison ring! Don't encourage my paranoid tendencies! 😆 I do carry pepper spray. I have one of those taser flashlight things but generally I only carry one or the other. Pretty sure after reading that book I will start carrying both. Enjoy the book, it is really good! 2mo
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LitStephanie
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Panpan

I bought this because it's a spinoff of the Blood and Ash series, which I mostly like, but it is not nearly as good. The plot barely crawls forward in this long novel mostly made up of Sera agonizing over loves me, loves me not. Dialogue is often juvenile, the editing is poor, the magic BS is unbelievable, and everything is driven by prophesies, which I tend to think is lazy writing. Blood and Ash has some of these same problems but much less so.

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LitStephanie
Winter Work | Dan Fesperman
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Bailedbailed

Interesting as it's set shortly after the Berlin wall came down and feaures a Stasi officer grappling with being newly unemployed and looked down upon, but it's just too slow moving and boring. Above is the Trabi Museum in Berlin, where you can see and even test drive the unreliable Trabant, which was about the only car available in East Germany. They broke down all the time but people grew very attached to them!

Catsandbooks Quite colorful! 🇩🇪 2mo
19 likes2 comments
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LitStephanie
One Good Deed | David Baldacci
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Pickpick

Great origin story for a detective series, and I plan to read more. Aloysius Archer has just gotten out of prison because he is an idiot who loses his sense when a pretty woman is nice to him. He then quickly stumbles upon some shady dealings and murders in the small town he has been placed in to serve parole and helps solve the crimes. But because he is still an idiot, he ends up a suspect.

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LitStephanie
The Last Flight | Julie Clark
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Mehso-so

Two strange women running from something exchange tickets and identities in an airport. It is suspenseful. But Clark tries so hard to convince us to empathize with Eva by trying to convince us she felt she had no other choice than to choose an unethical life of crime (sounds dramatic but trying not to spoil it) that it is off-putting. It is total BS that she had no other options, and she would have been more sympathetic if she had just been ⬇️

LitStephanie portrayed as being too lazy and embarrassed to start again after her fall from grace at one college. Claire is believable, but I just dreaded the chapters about Eva, who was very unlikeable despite the author's best efforts. 2mo
14 likes1 comment
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LitStephanie
Untitled | Untitled
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#jolabokaflodswap @MaleficentBookDragon
Sent out a package of local chocolates and a book today! #jolabokaflod

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LitStephanie
The Singles Table | Sara Desai
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Mehso-so

Zara is that obnoxious acquaintance who brags so loudly in mixed company about her sexual exploits that you suspect she actually never gets laid, but she grows on you. There are some very funny parts about absurd levels of competitive matchmaking by families as Zara tried to avoid any commitment at all, but the overall cheesiness of this rom-com made it a so-so for me. There is even a desperate airport love scene 🤢. #foodandlit #india

16 likes2 comments
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LitStephanie
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Mehso-so

All the teenage butthurt drama you can handle, set in someone's idea of university life that includes zero security presence so people can just fistfight in the cafeteria and harass their ex's on the sidewalk freely. The stakes are will Abby choose the nice rich guy or the bad boy (we know he is bad because he has tattoos 🤣)? Who cares? Still gets a so-so as Abby is well written even though the others are pure stock characters.

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LitStephanie
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Has anyone read this book and can advise if I should bail? The writing isn't bad but the university world McGuire creates reads like what a virginal HS senior might fantasize that college is like. For some reason, I thought this was a thriller. Does it get better? College courses are not called merely "history," McGuire, and freshman in college do not go to bars unless they have very good fake IDs. It's weird.

LitStephanie Also, the character Travis is mobbed by women like a rock star everywhere he goes, just nope. I don't know, maybe at tiny private colleges with highly sheltered students, but certainly not at a university with thousands of people. There is just too much competition for one person, even a very good looking one, to get that much attention, and busy grown women don't behave that way outside of frat parties. I am just confused, LOL 2mo
TheBookHippie I bailed!!! 2mo
LitStephanie @TheBookHippie thank you for commenting. That helps me make my decision! 2mo
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TheBookHippie @LitStephanie I had the ARC. 🤦🏻‍♀️ 2mo
TheBookHippie Still remember the disgust 😂 2mo
LitStephanie @TheBookHippie ARC? I am so bad with acronyms! 2mo
TheBookHippie @LitStephanie advanced readers copy I read them for the library and review them, and I was so excited by this cover and the let down was so huge!!!! I was so mad I still remember 😂 2mo
LitStephanie @TheBookHippie oh duh! Wow, what a cool gig. 2mo
LeahBergen Freshmen go to bars in my part of Canada. Our province‘s legal drinking age is 18. 😆 2mo
LitStephanie @LeahBergen I thought of that, but this is definitely set in the US. 2mo
12 likes10 comments
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LitStephanie
The Singles Table | Sara Desai
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A day late for #india #foodandlit but wanted to share this horrifying, cringey moment when MC Zara's dad presents some random young man for inspection at a wedding celebration. I realize you get used to the culture you are brought up in, but if I had experienced 1/100th of the pressure to marry from my family as the people in this book, I would have moved across the country upon turning 18 and never come back. So much meddling!

Catsandbooks Definitely a different culture. My Indian friends have all had arranged marriages, but they still have a choice if they don't like someone. 2mo
LitStephanie @Catsandbooks good to know. This wasn't about arranged marriages per se, just ridiculous, competitive match making by the Aunties. 2mo
16 likes3 comments
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LitStephanie
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Panpan

I tried to find things to like about this book because the premise is interesting: a rich family is thrown into chaos when their Ivy League college student son is accused of rape. But the story is slow moving and even the trial is not very suspenseful. Most of what we know about the characters comes from uninteresting memories of the unreliable narrator. The book is as much about the narrator's illicit affair with a married man that started ⏬

LitStephanie when she was a very young girl. She does move through some trauma associated with that, but really the entire family are useless members of the idle class, and no one exhibits any real growth. 3mo
15 likes1 comment
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LitStephanie
First Evidence | Ken Goddard
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Bailedbailed

REVIEWING OUTER PERIMETER NOT FIRST EVIDENCE. There are scary aliens in this book, but mostly it reads like a very long and boring X-Files movie. But that is not why I bailed. This author sets the story in SW OR but apparently thinks the weather there is like NE WA. Nope, you do not get subzero temps there unless maybe you are standing on top of a mountain. Worse, he writes about a character with a cat and has clearly never owned a cat. It's as ⏬

LitStephanie if he wrote the scenes with a small dog and then used the find and replace function to swap dog words for cat words. The dialog is sometimes also unrealistic, as when a woman yells at her friend/sometimes lover "you made love to her!" when the natural phrasing would have been something like "you f$#cked an alien lady, are you out of your damn mind?!" 3mo
13 likes1 comment
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LitStephanie
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I am three chapters in. Has anyone read this? Are we SUPPOSED to hate the narrator? She is a rich phD student who drives like a maniac in her ridiculously expensive car because she can afford the tickets--but, she also shows skin and flirts, almost to the point of offering sex, to get out of tickets. This after looking down on another girl who "plays down her attractiveness . . . as if there's virtue in looking dowdy." Yuck.

Kimberlone This was such an underwhelming book for me! MC (and really all the characters) are not only unsympathetic but also uninteresting. I don‘t mind unlikeable characters or unreliable narrators but if they are also boring and not self-aware, then what is the point? A major twist at the end is greeted with basically a shoulder shrug by all the main characters. Too bad because I thought the plot/premise had a lot of promise. 3mo
LitStephanie @Kimberlone thanks for your comment. Now I know if it gets boring for me to just give up! 3mo
Kimberlone @LitStephanie yeah you would think the subject matter of the book would elicit strong reactions from the characters and maybe the point was that super rich people are just not bothered by consequences to any of their actions regardless of the level of criminality, but makes for kind of a boring read when all the characters react so nonchalantly to major events 🤷🏽‍♀️ 3mo
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TheBookHippie @Kimberlone someone gave this to me… why I have no clue however… it‘s going to the thrift store 😂😝 2mo
Kimberlone @TheBookHippie haha for the best in my opinion…thankfully I read this on Libby! 2mo
LitStephanie @TheBookHippie yeah do not waste your time. 2mo
LitStephanie @Kimberlone I read it on Libby too so at least it didn't cost anything. 2mo
16 likes8 comments
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LitStephanie
Suspects | Danielle Steel
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Bailedbailed

This book is labelled a thriller. A CIA agent becomes obsessed with meeting a celebrity widow because he wants to "protect" her and lies about who he is and what his intentions are to get to know her. Stalker thriller, right? Wrong. When she discovers his deceit, she finds it charming and falls madly in love with this man she feels so safe with. ? Also, the prose flows like a grocery list. Perhaps her other books are better, but I won't find out.

Reggie Yeah, I tried one of hers about 5 years ago for nostalgia‘s sake and it was horrible. Never again. 3mo
LitStephanie @Reggie good to know. I guess "available in every grocery store" does not equate to excellent writer. ? 3mo
15 likes2 comments
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LitStephanie
The Cartographers | Peng Shepherd
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Bailedbailed

To be clear, I am a nerd. But my nerdism does not encompass enthusiasm for cartography. I just cannot care about the drama of Nell, passionate but disgraced (a map scandal!) historic map expert, not even when a murder mystery possibly involving an old highway map is involved. If I am going to follow the adventures of New Yorkers with nerdy jobs, I far prefer Notary Publix! https://youtu.be/LncpjIzsnww

SamAnne LOL. I was a member of BOTM for 2 months. Some promo deal. This is one of the books I received. Sounds like a hard pass, perhaps. 3mo
LitStephanie @SamAnne my quick search showed mixed reviews. Some people really enjoy the map geeking out. I thought it was boring. Also, Nell's father is a jerk who ruined her career, and I got the sense that there is going to be some crap about his character being redeemed because he was protecting her. I am sick of books trying to justify the behavior of garbage parents. 3mo
19 likes2 comments
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LitStephanie
Win | Harlan Coben
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Pickpick

Very well-written crime thriller. I can't wait to read more from Coben, who is more skillful than most in this genre. The main character is a privileged, entitled, old-money a$$hole but somehow likeable as he has no illusions about deserving his status. The idea of super-rich equals celebrity is sometimes over the top ("you probably read about that" "yes THAT so-and-so" and such), but overall very good with lots of funny.

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LitStephanie
Win | Harlan Coben
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I just started this book and don't know this character's name or gender. They might be a criminal based on the genre. But I like them already! I live near a major March Madness school and just don't get it. It isn't like the players are even local people, but the city goes nuts! Most aren't even alumni!

SamAnne Hah! 3mo
LitStephanie @SamAnne oops . . . You watch those games, don't you? 🤣 3mo
SamAnne @LitStephanie I only watch during the March Madness, not the conference games. I like routing for the scrappy underdogs, which, uh, is not our home team these days. Only sport I watch…. 3mo
10 likes3 comments
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LitStephanie
The Ancestor | Danielle Trussoni
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Bailedbailed

Bert receives a strange letter in Italian telling her she is the sole living heir to a family estate in Italy. She then learns that her grandfather's family was reviled and feared by the townsfolk near their castle. Then a pushy lawyer accosts her and in moments convinces this grown woman and her husband to get on a private jet immediately to Italy. They don't have passports, and he magically produces some. Who would trust that? Unbelievable.

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LitStephanie
High Voltage | Karen Marie Moning
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Mehso-so

This is the love story between Dani O'Malley and Ryodan, added on to what was the end of the Mac Lane series for what reason I don't know. Problems: Dani became intellectually mature before being emotionally mature, which makes for some seriously cringey (although I admit sadly relatable) scenes. Also, f&#k Ryodan, the powerful, manipulative, ruthless, absurdly rich guy that Dani inexplicably puts up with. More romance than fantasy, sadly.

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LitStephanie
Blix | Frank Norris
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Pickpick

In McTeague, Norris shows us exactly how base human nature can be when people are put under pressure. In Blix, he shows how good life can be when humans live in the moment and let go of trying to be the coolest person in their set. Travis (Blix), at 19, calmly decides she is through with the petty, artificial group she runs with and from now on will do what she likes, experience what she likes, within the bounds of being a good person. She dumps⏬

LitStephanie her boyfriend (the somewhat autobiographical Condy who, like Norris, was raised in Chicago but moved to San Francisco and became a journalist and fiction writer), but they remain chums and both undergo major transformations. So much good stuff here about the animal joy of just being, how you can't really get close to another person within society's prescribed activities, and also gorgeous imagery of a San Francisco that no longer exist. Short read 3mo
LitStephanie Highly recommend. At first I didn't like the Victorian woman ideal of Blix being the good angel on Condy's shoulder, rescuing him from vice, but she is nothing so simple. She is a physically strong woman who hikes as well as Condy, fishes and plays poker better, and is headed off to a womens' medical school to be a doctor. Funny, sweet, romantic novel. 3mo
15 likes2 comments
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LitStephanie
High Voltage | Karen Marie Moning
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Ladies, what would you do to a bossy, secretive, manipulative man who told you to "clarify your emotions" and tried to "correct" your sense of who you were angry with?! I still like the book and the series, but seriously, Moning! Enough with strong women characters letting men get away with this BS.

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LitStephanie
High Voltage | Karen Marie Moning
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Enjoying a lazy Friday off while the rain patters outside. I have found a new excuse to eat my mug cake more often--I decided to package it as a dry mix for holiday gifts and of course that necessitates experimenting with variations! I like this book but it has problems. There is a definite patriarchal, old powerful man knows best for the females in his life theme that really raises my hackles. This author tends to lapse into that.

EclecticBookLover I'm listening to the fever series and I just finished book 2. I'm not sure I'm enjoying it as much as the first time I read it. I'm not crazy about the narrator which could be part of the problem. I wanted to refresh my memory so I can read some of the newer books, but now I'm not sure I will. 3mo
LitStephanie @EclecticBookLover how far did you get the first time? The book before this one, the last Mac Lane book, was really good and worth getting to. This one is a purely Dani book. I didn't really enjoy the other Dani book, I think called Iced (it is gross how all these older guys are lusting after a super immature, annoying 14 year old girl) but I still really like the rest of the series. 3mo
EclecticBookLover I think I got as far as Iced and it was ok, not a big fan of that one. Then I tried listening to Bured but forgot so much I gave up. 3mo
21 likes3 comments
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LitStephanie
Blix | Frank Norris
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So far, this seems like a very pleasant story about two young people learning who they are and how much better life is when you put aside pretenses and societal expectations and just be yourself. However, because it is Frank Norris, also author of the brilliant but extremely brutal Naturalist novel McTeague, I can't just enjoy the nice stuff because I am waiting for acts of depravity to mess it all up. 🤣 It is a weird dread.

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LitStephanie
Blix | Frank Norris
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Norris had such a great ability to introduce characters briefly but with powerful descriptions. This quote made me choke on my coffee. ? I also love this sentence: "Asked as to his birthplace--for no Californian assumes that his neighbor is born in the State--Condy was wont to reply that he was "brawn 'n' rais" in Chicago; "but," he always added, "I couldn't help that, you know.""

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LitStephanie
The Moor's Last Sigh | Salman Rushdie
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Wow, Salman Rushdie, parricidal thoughts from a young child just eight pages in! Love it!

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LitStephanie
Pickpick

Really good! Very suspenseful and surprisingly poignant. My version also had a wonderful forward by the author talking about how he got started writing the series, including the inspiration for the name Jack Reacher, which was funny and interesting.

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LitStephanie
NOS4A2 | Joe Hill
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Bailedbailed

I made it over halfway through and might finish this sometime. It is scary and generally well written. The problem is that there are a lot of near escapes where the victim (boy kidnapped by monster) almost gets away but doesn't quite, or where the protagonist (boy's mom, Vic) almost has a win, and that constant suspense and failure is a bit fatiguing on the reader. I put it down when Vic is lured in by one of the bad guys at a time when she ⏬

LitStephanie should be at her most wary, and she also just defies common safety sense for any woman by going alone into a complete stranger's house. It felt like this unbelievable scene was only there because the author wanted to throw yet another dramatic wrench in her plans. 3mo
12 likes1 comment
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LitStephanie
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Sneaking in some quiet reading time on the rooftop garden patio on my hotel. Such a lovely place to read such a violent book. Liking this better than the TV show so far, not that the show isn't good, but the book gives a lot more insight that can't be shown on TV.

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LitStephanie
The Maidens: A Novel | Alex Michaelides
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Bailedbailed

Maybe this book gets better, but I can't get into it. Some of the literary references come off as pretentious, especially since at least one early on (comparing Mariana and her dad to Petruchio and Kate) doesn't even make sense. Also, I am pretty sure the murderer has multiple personality disorder. Really, that old trope that is either extremely rare or non-existent in reality? Bailing now.

kplovesbooks It doesn't get better at all. The ending reveal is ridiculous. 🙄 I gave this like 1 star. 4mo
LitStephanie @kplovesbooks good to know! Glad I decided not to spend any more time on it. 4mo
15 likes2 comments
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LitStephanie
Kill the Queen | Jennifer Estep
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Pickpick

My German isn't near good enough to read the Deutsche version. I just like the cover better. Good, quick fantasy read about the distant cousin of the queen who survives a massacre by her cousin of all the other members of their family. She goes into hiding and joins a gladiator troupe but wonders if she should be doing something to help her country, which has been taken over by a murderer hellbent on war.

julesG Not sure this is a book you should read in German. It might be better to read a German author first. Let me know if I can help you finding a fitting book, I'm a native speaker of German. 4mo
LitStephanie @julesG thank you! I am still pretty much at the travelers essentials point but am hoping to get better. I will definitely reach out when I am ready to tackle a book (maybe a small children's book, LOL). 4mo
18 likes1 stack add2 comments
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LitStephanie
Die Trying | Lee Child
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Pickpick

This was a good installment in Child's Jack Reacher series. It involves a Montana militia terrorist group and is probably more realistic than I am comfortable with. Badass female protagonist in this one, too, and some of it is from her viewpoint.

17 likes2 stack adds
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LitStephanie
Die Trying | Lee Child
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I laughed so hard at this spot-on description of a cheap government building "boardroom." Reminded me of a public university leased building I worked in that seriously still had knobs in the offices labeled "Muzak." Why remodel if the building isn't actually falling down? ?

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LitStephanie
Feversong: A Fever Novel | Karen Marie Moning
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Pickpick

This is the last book in the Mackayla Lane series, and it is the best. Our flawed, hopelessly self-absorbed, often slow-on-the-uptake, but very realistic heroine finally gains some emotional maturity and gets herself together to do her part to save the world. Other beloved characters exhibit some real growth here as well, especially Dani and Ryodan. I loved this apocalyptic fantasy series overall and will be reading it again.

14 likes1 stack add
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LitStephanie
Jane Eyre | Charlotte Bront
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Texts between Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester. If you haven't read this, do check it out. It is one of the funniest literary jokes I have ever seen. https://www.thehairpin.com/2012/07/texts-from-jane-eyre/ #pemberlittens

nanuska_153 This person really captured Rochester's energy 😂 I can totally see his mannerisms with the texts about the walk and his humor with the cellar is on point 4mo
LitStephanie @nanuska_153 it is really perfect. 4mo
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LitStephanie
Jane Eyre | Charlotte Bront
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I know I am way behind #pemberlittens, sorry! Rochester is dark and sexy and all, but can we also agree he is a serious a$$hole? For months, he tried to inspire jealousy and affection in Jane by forcing her to witness him flirting with Blanche, then toys with her by telling her she has to leave her position as he is getting married. He only has the courage to declare his own feelings when he has cruelly bullied her into revealing her own. Jerk!

nanuska_153 What really gets me, is that on top of all that, while he proposes to Jane, he says "I presented myself to see the result", excuse me pal, so not only did you went through pains to let me believe that you were going to marry another woman, you actually proposed to her, and you are only talking to me now because she rejected you? How was this a good plan to propose?! 4mo
LitStephanie @nanuska_153 yes! I am not sure if he actually proposed or just visited her and her mother as if he were about to. And also, in his talking (half to himself) in that chapter, he talks about how good it is that she has no relatives. You wonder if he would have been interested if she were not all alone and unprotected in the world. 4mo
nanuska_153 @LitStephanie I don't want to say too much in case you haven't read this before, but you hit into something there! 4mo
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Clare-Dragonfly YES EXACTLY 4mo
LitStephanie @nanuska_153 don't worry, this is my third lifetime read. 😁 4mo
nanuska_153 @LitStephanie in that case, yeah, the fact that he is so happy that she is alone in the world was a clue that something was wrong, not only because any kind of abusive relationship thrives in isolation, but because there's no way he would have tried to go ahead with the wedding if she had a family to make enquiries about his past 4mo
13 likes6 comments
review
LitStephanie
Portrait of a Scotsman | Evie Dunmore
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Panpan

I enjoyed Bringing Down the Duke but was disappointed in this novel in the same series. It aims to be a feminist love story, but it is more a silly romance. The book starts with a preposterous scene orchestrated by a stranger with a bad rep, Mr. Blackstone, to put Harriet, an heiress, into a compromising position that will force her father to marry her to him. It isn't all that compromising, but Harriet just goes along with the plan. ⏬

LitStephanie Mr. Blackstone decides to try to help her with her concerns about women miners he employs and thinks about applying pressure for some legislation she favors (his motivation seems to be just pleasing her, which seems unlikely), but she is just so naive and falls for this guy so immediately that it feels unbelievable. Eventually, she does exercise some autonomy, but it is too late, and by the time it happens, it seems out of character. 4mo
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LitStephanie
Persuasion | Jane Austen
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So I am here in Bath and thinking the English are very serious about their shrubbery. These shrub balls at my lodging just make me think of Sir Elliot. I am not sure I like the idea of my shubberies being approachable! Also, to me, these look like Critters or the pods full of babies in Aliens. #pemberlittens

Leftcoastzen 👍😄🇬🇧 5mo
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LitStephanie
Immortal Rising | Lynsay Sands
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Bailedbailed

Did I pick up some random book that is part of a series I have never heard of just because it is fantasy genre and the protagonist's name is Stephanie? Yes, yes I did. 🤣 The author, with a real hazy, vague understanding of how gene splicing works, creates a world full of genetically modified people. This appears to be about two painfully awkward, genetically enhanced weirdos finding love. Unfortunately, the writing of the action is a bit too ⏬

LitStephanie detailed. If two characters are eating breakfast, and at some point one uses a napkin, I am not going to be confused if it was not previously communicated that napkins were set on the table. I will just assume napkins were placed when the table was set. No joke, this author writes as if she needs to spell out every tiny movement. Just not my style. 5mo
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LitStephanie
Neon Gods | Katee Robert
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Mehso-so

Turns out if you select a book based purely on "Ooh, Persephone and Psyche, I like those stories!" you might end up with a surprise. For a steamy love story, it's great. For a fleshed out fantasy based on elements of mythology, not so much, which is too bad because the premise is interesting: What if Olympus was a protected city ruled not by gods but rich a$$hole humans? After this intriguing intro, our heroes meet and bond over a shared love of ⏬

LitStephanie exhibitionism. The love story is well written, sexy, and believable, but I wanted to know more about whatever magic fuels this place, history, etc. Also, the author commits what I see as a grave sin after many of us became unwilling experts in video calls during pandemic shutdowns: she writes that someone meets the eyes of each video call participant. 🤦Just nope. Not how that works. I almost bailed at that scene. 5mo
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