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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards

SaunteringVaguelyDownwards

Joined October 2016

PhD in English - now with a full-time community college faculty position!
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Mislaid in Parts Half-Known by Seanan McGuire
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Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
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Trust by Hernan Diaz
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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And soon to be 15, as we are reading Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow for our faculty book club this month!

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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🌼 Leverage (and the sequel Leverage: Redemption) are my go-to rewatches; I love a good heist!

🪻I really enjoyed Sorry, and my husband and I acquired it for ourselves when moving into our own house!

🌹Loved the cross between a library and Wonka's factory as the setting for an escape room game in the tagged book.

#WondrousWednesday @Eggs

Eggs That book sounds great-thanks for playing 🥳 2w
14 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Camino Ghosts: A Novel | John Grisham
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Pickpick

I'm not always good at tagging books in Litsy as current reads, but I like this new feature from StoryGraph to help me go back and add them all monthly!

Lots of good reading done during my travels to and from the AP exam scoring and during my beach vacation.

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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"Why would anyone want to feel superior to others? Surely the only occasion to justify looking down on someone is while you are helping them up."

My favorite quote from Starry Messenger, our faculty book club pick for June.

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Untitled | Untitled
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75%, no doubt boosted by the fact that my brother was little in the 2000s, helping me cover the kids movies while watching the adult ones on my own with friends.

Favorites:
- The Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy (best score and fantastic character acting)
- the Ocean's trilogy
- the Matrix series, because they really spearheaded the trend towards transmedia storytelling that I focused on in my dissertation

#TLT #ThreeListThursday @dabbe

dabbe All choices are series--love it! Thanks for playing and sharing. 🤩🤩🤩 1mo
13 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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I'm teaching this one in my summer Children's Lit class! Zoe intercepts a letter from her absent father on her 12th birthday and learns that he is claiming to be innocent of the murder he's been convicted of. This starts her quest to get him released, learning how systemic racism impacts the judicial system. Zoe and her father start a sweet correspondence to get to know each other, bonding over food and music.

#MiddleGradeMonday @Karisimo

LiteraryinLawrence I remember reading and liking this one! 1mo
Karisimo I love Zoe and her journey to know her dad! Thanks for sharing! 1mo
9 likes2 comments
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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🙌🏻

(When this is the epigraph, you know the book is going to be good.)

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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I love that someone has set up a Little Free Library here at the AP Literature scoring venue!

I also love all the geeky book tshirts and seeing people tucked in corners all over reading during breaks and meals.

#TeachersOfLitsy

LiteraryinLawrence Aww, so nerdy! 💗 2mo
12 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
War That Saved My Life | Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
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Set in WWII England, this middle grade novel details Ada‘s escape from her abusive mother to join her brother Jamie as he is evacuated to the Kent countryside. She grapples with (forced) gratitude toward her new caretaker Susan, low self-esteem, and the knowledge that her mother does not love her, for she could have given Ada surgery to fix her clubfoot as a child and did not.

#MiddleGradeMonday
@Karisimo

SaunteringVaguelyDownwards This Newbery Honor book would be great for an upper elementary or middle school class to learn about WWII as well as what anxiety is like, as Ada often “goes away inside her head,” gets overwhelmed with crowds, and likes the comfort of being swaddled in a blanket when she panics. There's also a great sequel - The War I Finally Won! 2mo
Daisey I agree; this was such a great book! I‘ve yet to read the sequel, but I just recently read another historical fiction by this author - 2mo
Karisimo This one is a new classic! @daisey I have the night war in my queue right now! Thanks for sharing @SaunteringVaguelyDownwards 2mo
10 likes3 comments
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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Pickpick

I think this installment captures a really authentic piece not just of adolescence, but of being in a relationship - trying to figure out your own identity, goals, and dreams (independently of your family or romantic partner). I liked that all the characters supported and expressed the importance of having friends you can open up to!

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
The Girl with the Silver Eyes | Willo Davis Roberts
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1) My grandfather was a high school math teacher, and my parents looked through the absentee list from his school for name inspiration. So I am technically named after someone who didn't bother showing up for school! 😂

2) I adored the tagged book growing up - a protagonist with my name and the ability to move things with her mind, just like Roald Dahl's Matilda (my other favorite book)? Sign me up!

#TwoForTuesday
@TheSpineView

TheSpineView Great story! Thanks for playing! 4mo
14 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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Pickpick

A worthy sequel! Character development is a main theme here as Laia becomes more self-assured, driven by her need to save her brother; Helene figures out how to survive as the second-in-command to an emperor she doesn't trust; and Elias must reckon with all the harm he's caused as a Mask. Will be going on to book 3 after finishing my book club selection!

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
The Hunger Games: Volume 1 | Suzanne Collins
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I think the Hunger Games movie was one of the more successful first-person book narration to third-person movie narration I've seen. Using Caesar Flickerman and the other tv announcers to give the background on things like tracker jackers instead of Katniss telling the audience worked really well.

#SundayFunday
@BookmarkTavern

BookmarkTavern Oh that‘s a great pick! Thanks for sharing! 5mo
11 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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Pickpick

I loved this book so much! The idea of faerie being real and studied academically was so fun to me, and both scholars definitely reminded me of personalities I've encountered as a grad student / professor. I will certainly be reading the sequel!

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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"remember the trouble you had giving co-author credit to that Welsh shepherd for your paper on faerie mounds? Your peer reviewers wouldn't let it go to print."

? I'm such an academic - this was the passage that convinced me that the seemingly morally ambiguous Emily was actually a good person at heart and not just motivated by her own ambition.

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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Pickpick

I was immediately sucked into this world of Masks hunting Scholars, and appreciated the lengths Laia wanted to go to in order to save her brother as well as Elias's frustration with the system he was born into. Will be continuing the series if I can find the next book!

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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Pickpick

I love teaching the WWI poem "Dulce Et Decorum Est" this book gets its name from for its masterful use of poetic devices to convey a powerful critique of war, and this novel honors that message deftly. It's remarkable to watch Kyr come to terms with the fact that she has been radicalized, and that the world is nothing like she's been taught.

SaunteringVaguelyDownwards The ending reminds me so much of the Doctor Who series nine finale where Clara gets to travel the universe with Me in their own TARDIS, and I hope both Kyr and Yiso enjoy their travel just as much. 5mo
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"The sky lit up with green subreal flashes as a Wisdom cruiser dropped out of shadowspace."

Was craving some sci-fi, and this book is delivering!

#FirstLineFridays
@ShyBookOwl

ShyBookOwl Sounds good! 5mo
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Valdemar | Mercedes Lackey
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Mehso-so

Somewhat anticlimactic end to the founding trilogy. I do wonder if I was expecting too much from it - clarifying the mystery of how the Companions came to exist is no small feat!

SaunteringVaguelyDownwards I think part of the problem is that the book is too plot-driven; it felt like it knew what points it had to flesh out, given that it is a prequel. Unfortunately, that meant that it relied far too much on the reader knowing why certain characters were significant from their legendary status in the (chronologically) future books, rather than doing the work in this book to make me care about them. 6mo
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Ruin and Rising | Leigh Bardugo
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Mehso-so

Finished off this trilogy, and while I can't say I predicted all the outcomes, I wasn't surprised at each character's fate, either. Not sure whether I'll continue reading the rest of the series.

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Inkwood Books | Haddonfield, NJ (Bookstore)
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Enjoying my break from school with a little book shopping! Top book is the next selection for our faculty book club, and the bottom one fits perfectly with my week on Afro/Africanfuturism in my World Lit class in the spring semester.

#BookHaul #ShopLocal

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Started my #HyggeChallenge on Wednesday as a way to relax now that fall semester grades are in. I asked my husband to choose a game that didn't require too much strategy and was amused that he went with this one. (He admitted it needed more strategy than he anticipated after we were done. 😂)

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Siege and Storm | Leigh Bardugo
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Mehso-so

I agree with other Litsy readers that Nikolai is the best part of this book; otherwise, this feels like yet another frustrating YA romantsy, where Alina could have solved most of her problems with Mal by communicating better.

#NoveListReadingChallenge - March
Read a book from the last five years that's been adapted into a movie or TV series.

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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Not a bad reading year! Didn't hit my goal of 100 books, but I'm starting to realize that may not be realistic now I'm no longer involved in the curriculum review project. I'm amused at the discrepancy between the longest and shortest book - that's what comes of teaching children's lit! Will be interesting to see if Pratchett is top next year as I continue the Discworld series.

Tagged book was my favorite of the year for its original concept!

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Shadow and Bone | Leigh Bardugo
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Mehso-so

My #lastfirst of 2023/2024 is the Grishaverse - managed to finish Shadow and Bone and start Siege and Storm. Figured I'd see what the fuss is about as I'm developing a Young Adult Literature class.

I may be burned out on the Chosen One trope, though, so we'll see if I continue.

@BookNAround

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
The Discworld Atlas | Terry Pratchett, The Discworld Emporium
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I may not have met my total book goal, but I did meet my goal to read all the Night Watch books in the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. Will have to figure out which of the Discworld character arcs I want to read next, and maybe join #SeriesLove2024 to help!

#SundayFunday @BookmarkTavern

BookmarkTavern Woohoo! Any goal relating to Discworld is great in my book. I‘d highly recommend the Death novels! 💕 7mo
SaunteringVaguelyDownwards Thanks, @BookmarkTavern! I managed to squeeze in Hogfather at Christmas as well, so the Death stories seem like a natural next step. 7mo
Andrew65 It would be great to have you join #SeriesLove2024 😁 7mo
10 likes3 comments
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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1) full length: Die Hard 😂
TV special: Muppet Family Christmas (Careful of the icy patch!)

2) All I want for Christmas is the best thing to eat and make sure you get the money. 🤣

3) The tagged book is cemented as a winter book in my mind.

#WondrousWednesday @Eggs

PaperbackPirate Die Hard is a Christmas movie! 💪🏻🎄🎅🏼 7mo
Eggs #1 - classics! 7mo
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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I enjoy when an author plays within the fictional world they created, especially when they invite others in to do so to - it's like reading fanfiction, only I don't have to worry about screening for the good stories! Some of these stories fill in the history of the world, such as how Scythe Curie got her reputation or what Scythe Goddard did before he was a scythe. Others are character studies - I appreciated the one narrated by the Thunderhead.

SaunteringVaguelyDownwards You will need to have read the full series to enjoy this book, though, as there are spoilers for plot points in the last novel. 7mo
5 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Snuff | Terry Pratchett
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Pickpick

Sam Vimes proves that he is unable to detach from his work by solving crimes on vacation at his wife's ancestral country house. His growth as a character is really on full display here as he argues for goblins to be considered human.

With this read, I've achieved my goal of reading all the Night Watch Discworld books this year! Prachett fans - which arc should I read next? The wizards? The witches?

#Discworld #ReadingGoals

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Mystery Science Theater 3000 | Joel Hodgson, Harold Buchholz, Matt McGinnis
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Fun to catch it at a perfectly round number!

BookmarkTavern Wahoo! 😆 8mo
dabbe 🤩😍🤗 8mo
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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I wasn't going to do this since it's the end of the semester, but I need grading motivation, so my goal is to spend 20 hours over the next 4 days reading and grading student essays. I'll break it up with fun reading by trying to get to 60% in Snuff by Terry Prachett (at 38% now).

#20in4Readathon @Andrew65

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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1) Jury's still out on a tree because cat, but we'll do some other indoor decorations.
2) The Moravian Star and candles in the windows.
3) I'm all in on the a capella: Straight No Chaser, Pentatonix, and my friends' semi-pro group Keystone A Capella - you haven't heard "Santa Baby" until you've heard it sung by a bass (miss you, Gooch!)

#WondrousWednesday @Eggs

Eggs Sounds delightful!! Thanks for joining in ❄️🎅🎄🎶 8mo
9 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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Mehso-so

As with many fantasy series, this got bloated - books 4-6 are all basically one story arc. This one feels like a very YA ending; it does wrap up the story and the main characters all get their fairytale ending, but in a very plot-sketchy way. I don't think they are given the space at the end to really process the emotional weight of all the events leading to that point. Overall, Chainani set up more complexity & depth than he was able to fulfill.

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Blessed Are the Cheesemakers | Sarah-Kate Lynch
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1) My parents are excited to host in their new house, so my husband and I are bringing side dishes and staying over to visit the Christmas market on Friday.

2) The tagged book showcases best friends and found families, supporting both family and strangers through hard times, and celebrating good food made well (especially cheese!)

#Two4Tuesday @TheSpineView

SaunteringVaguelyDownwards Though Anxious People would be another good option! 8mo
TheSpineView Thanks for playing! Happy Thanksgiving! 8mo
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Pickpick

Read for our faculty book club! I've seen the praise and critiques from this group, and did agree with most of it, but in the end I did find it an enjoyable read.

SaunteringVaguelyDownwards I have to say, though, that I actually like what the TV series is doing better than the book! Recasting Harriet as an educated black woman fighting for the community and having her call out Elizabeth for her privilege helps expand the feminist message, and seeing how Harriet and her husband negotiate the primacy of their careers mirrors the struggles I imagine Elizabeth and Calvin would have had if he had lived. 8mo
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Bookshops & Bonedust | Travis Baldree
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Pickpick

The first book in the series was like meeting my husband, with his love for the smells and tastes and rituals of making coffee. This one was like me, with my love of all things bookshop and readerly - especially the sharing of a great read. I binged this on a rainy Saturday morning instead of grading, and it was time well spent.

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Starter Villain | John Scalzi
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Mehso-so

A fun but fluffy work by Scalzi - I found I didn't care as much about the protagonist as I did in several of his other books. Pictured with my own "management", Watney.

dabbe Hello there sweet kitty gazing out at the beautiful view! 🖤🐾🖤 8mo
12 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
The Phantom Tollbooth | Norton Juster
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1) Yes! I think I have built and read in blanket forts with my siblings as a child, with my cousin's as a teen, and with my now-husband at college over the summer semester when I had the apartment to myself.

2) the tagged book is so vividly a child memory for me, and same for my husband. We discovered over the pandemic that it was the perfect book to read aloud to cure our anxiety-induced insomnia.

#TwoForTuesday @TheSpineView

TheSpineView Thanks for playing! 9mo
11 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Trick Or Treat! | Ann Braybrooks
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My cat Watney is patiently waiting for trick-or-treaters! I've seen a bunch of groups out in the neighborhood - we have an elementary school and a house that puts on an elaborate display - but not many have come to the door. I wonder if our outside lights aren't bright enough?

#CatsOfLitsy

dabbe Hello there, adorable Watney! 🖤🐾🖤 9mo
10 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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Mehso-so

As often happens with long fantasy series, the story is starting to sprawl, meaning that this book doesn't end up resolving any of the storylines. Even the trope of exploding dichotomies is starting to wear thin - this book tries to complicate Past and Present and doesn't really succeed. I'll still probably continue to read the series to see it out to the end.

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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Late because the Litsy app would not cooperate and let me add images last night! As an English professor, here are three of my favorite words to say out loud:
* onomatopoeia
* abecedarian
* soliloquy

Any other #TeachersOfLitsy want to chime in?

#TLT @dabbe

dabbe #2 is FUN to say out loud! 🤩🤩🤩 9mo
8 likes1 comment
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Wool (Wool, #1) | Hugh Howey
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Mehso-so

I admittedly picked this up out of mild curiosity to see if I should check out the TV show, and verdict is still out. The characters are interesting, as is the premise, but I'm not sure I'm looking for the grim mood such post-apocalyptic works sink into - especially since the second book in the series is the prequel.

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Happy Litsyversary! | Special Events
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7 years already? Time flies when you're having fun!

Desha Congratulations 🎉🎊! 9mo
Amiable Happy Litsyversary! 9mo
GondorGirl Happy litsy-versary! 9mo
tpixie 🎉🎉🎉 9mo
14 likes4 comments
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Thud! | Terry Pratchett
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Pickpick

Another Night Watch installment that could be summed up as Sam Vimes seeing the world conspiring to keep him from getting home on time to read the picture book Where's My Cow? to his young son. My favorite moment was Death having a "near-Vimes experience." ?

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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Mehso-so

Holy cliffhangers, Batman! This instalment of the series explores what happens after the traditional end of a fairy tale, showing that happily ever afters are hard to get. Tedros and Agatha learn that there's more to being king and queen than just titling yourself as such, especially when a new foe calling himself the Snake arises. The binary between Truth and Lies is deconstructed.

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards

"Except relationships aren't just about love, Agatha realized. Relationships are about taking off the mask you wear to make someone like you and letting them see the real you. The one you hid all along. The one you never thought was good enough to find love in the first place."

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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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Pickpick

Whew, finished my goals just in time for #SummerEndReadathon!

Library holds:
✅ When The Angels Left the Old Country
✅ Gryphon in Light

Watch Discworld book:
✅ Night Watch

And the bonus book The Last Ever After!

Thanks for a fun challenge @TheSpineView!

TheSpineView You're welcome and thanks for participating! 10mo
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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"In the back corner of a little synagogue in the shtetl that was so small and out of the way that it was only called Shtetl, there was a table where an angel and a demon had been studying Talmud together for some two hundred years."

*gestures to username* Couldn't resist this book based on reviews comparing it to Good Omens, and am loving this pairing so far!

#FirstLineFridays
@ShyBookOwl

SaunteringVaguelyDownwards Last book for #SummerEndReadathon - I'm two-thirds of the way through! @TheSpineView 10mo
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
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Mehso-so

A bonus read for #SummerEndReadathon while waiting for my final hold to come in! In this installment, the now young School Master tries to convince Sophie to be his evil queen, and Agatha and Tedros have to persuade her to leave his spell. The binary between New and Old is explored; and I'm increasingly convinced that the series will end by exploding the binary altogether.

@TheSpineView

TheSpineView Well done! 10mo
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SaunteringVaguelyDownwards
Night Watch | Terence David John Pratchett
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Pickpick

Realized I never posted my review of this for #SummerEndReadathon! In this Discworld installment, Sam Vimes gets "timenapped" and sent into a pivotal event from his past. You can see how these memories shaped Sam's moral code (which doesn't always match the legal code!) and personality, and understand why he needs that reminder right as he's becoming a father.

Shameless picture of Watney in his comfy spot!

@TheSpineView
#CatsOfLitsy

Soubhiville 🐱🩵 Watney is very handsome. 10mo
TheSpineView Sweet face!❤️ 10mo
RaeLovesToRead Watney sure knows how to pose! 🥰🥰💕 10mo
dabbe Watney, that's a #photocontestwinner! 🖤🐾🖤 10mo
14 likes4 comments