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TracyReadsBooks

TracyReadsBooks

Joined March 2017

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TracyReadsBooks
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Pickpick

A fascinating & informative guide. Graceland is renowned for its park like setting & for being where many of the movers & shakers in Chicago—from baseball legend Ernie Banks to Danial Burnham (whose plan for the city still shapes the lakefront) & Allan Pinkerton, the famous detective. The 10 walks outlined by Selzer take you past both the famous & the far less so highlighting their stories & illuminating Chicago history. An excellent read.

16 likes1 stack add
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TracyReadsBooks
Dead Voices | Katherine Arden
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Pickpick

Another fun, spooky middle grade book perfect for an autumnal read. The sequel to Small Spaces finds Ollie, Coco & Coco off for a weekend of skiing at Mount Hemlock. What promises to be a fun, relaxing weekend quickly becomes something else when a snowstorm traps them in their lodge, a mysterious stranger arrives, Ollie starts hearing voices, and taxidermied animals start moving around even though that shouldn‘t be possible. Enjoyed this one.

16 likes1 stack add
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TracyReadsBooks
Star Wars: The High Republic Path of Deceit | Tessa Gratton, Justina Ireland
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So Phase 2 starts fast & does not let up until 😮!!! I read the book…and then I had to read parts of it again because wow, no they didn‘t…yes they did…I can‘t even…what the what…more please. Star Wars is at its best when the stakes are high, (& believable), consequences are real, there‘s good AND bad, we get to know & care about the characters, & this book has all that & more. Fanaticism, found family, the Force, danger, & adventure. I loved it.

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TracyReadsBooks
Star Wars: The High Republic Path of Deceit | Tessa Gratton, Justina Ireland
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The next wave of High Republic books is officially here! Love that we are going back in time and excited to see what this phase has in store for us.

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TracyReadsBooks
Tiger Writing | Gish Jen
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Came across this book while reading Craft in the Real World, thought it sounded interesting, and was lucky enough to find a used copy that was also signed!

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TracyReadsBooks
Fairy Tale | Stephen King
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Started the day with middle grade spookiness and now ending it with this one. I‘m expecting a really fun read.

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TracyReadsBooks
Dead Voices | Katherine Arden
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More middle grade spookiness to start the week! 🍂👻🎃

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TracyReadsBooks
Scritch Scratch | Lindsay Currie
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Is it a little weird to admit I found this middle grade ghost story to be absolutely delightful? Because I did! Super fun with just the write amount of adventure & spookiness. Drafted at the last minute to help her dad on one of his ghost tours of Chicago, Claire arrives home afterwards & discovers a ghost has tagged along. Who is it & what do they want? A good story that also tells readers a little about Chicago history. Fantastic autumn read.

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TracyReadsBooks
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Pickpick

Disappointed to say I didn‘t love this one. After the first section, which I really liked, it just never really came together for me. This story of a young man trying to return a book to the author‘s son delves into displacement, parallel universes, friendship, & the power of stories. The writing is generally very good & occasionally great, many of the ideas interesting, but after a fast start, the pacing slowed & the story was just okay.

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TracyReadsBooks
Hench | Natalie Zina Walschots
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After a slow reading summer, I was re-energized in September and read 21 books. The tagged book was my runaway favorite but all of these are excellent and highly recommended. So, read Hench if you want to root for the villains, The Genesis of Misery if you like your space opera big & bold, Monstress just because, Craft in the Real World if you‘re interested in writing and Florida if you enjoy short stories. On to October!

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TracyReadsBooks
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Pickpick

It took me a few pages to get into the rhythm & syntax of the book but once I did, wow. This one was hard to put down…& also happens to be hard to review without risking spoilers. So…if you like your space operas big, bold, & full of giant robot space battles, this is the book for you. It has a queer, diverse cast of characters, explores prophecy & belief, truth & the stories we tell ourselves & there is more to come. Can‘t wait. It‘s excellent!

18 likes2 stack adds
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TracyReadsBooks
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Pickpick

Fascinating, thought-provoking important book that is definitely worth reading if you are at all interested in writing, storytelling, craft, workshopping, or really, are a reader who wants to know about how any & all of this is taught. Delving into the cultural underpinnings of writers‘ workshops, what & how they teach, Salesses argues it is necessary to incorporate diverse writers & storytelling traditions in building a better model. Excellent.

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TracyReadsBooks
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I also started this one today and wow is the writing good. Also loving the story…

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TracyReadsBooks
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This week‘s nonfiction reading…

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TracyReadsBooks
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Pickpick

Kuang's alternate history is a masterful, comprehensive takedown of the colonial enterprise, one which eviscerates the racist, economic, & social underpinnings of the imperial enterprise. It also interrogates the role language & translation plays in this process in telling the story of four young scholars who must decide which side they belong to. I loved all of that but wanted more from the characters & the story itself. Still, it‘s a pick.

18 likes1 stack add
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TracyReadsBooks
The Fields | Erin Young
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The first book in a new series featuring Sargent Riley Fisher, this was entertaining enough even if the character types are recognizable & many of the plot points familiar. Which is to say while not the most original story I‘ve ever read, it kept me turning the pages & I did appreciate that it was set in a small town in Iowa instead of a big metropolis somewhere. Descriptions of crime were quite graphic so if that‘s not your thing, skip this one.

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TracyReadsBooks
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Just in! Tuesday book mail is always exciting although, in truth, I‘m much more excited about the tagged book than I am about The Golden Enclaves which is why I am going to read it first…starting now!

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TracyReadsBooks
Untitled | Untitled
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#Two4Tuesday

1. Since I excavate sites that are 3,000-5,000 of years old I do a lot of work reading for those time periods but seldom read any fiction.

2. I do, however, enjoy reading mysteries set in Ancient Rome—the Marcus Didius Falco series by Lyndsey Davis & Gordianus the Finder series by Steven Saylor being two favorites—although it doesn‘t quite reach that 2k+ date. Still, loads of fun.

@TheSpineView

Blueberry Are you an archaeologist?!! 🤎 1w
TracyReadsBooks @Blueberry I am! My specialization is the Islamic and Crusader periods but in the field I excavate everything from the Iron Age thru the Mamluk period. 1w
Blueberry I've always had an interest in PreColumbian textiles beginning in college. 1w
TheSpineView An Archaeologist! Awesome! Thanks for playing 1w
17 likes4 comments
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TracyReadsBooks
The Fields | Erin Young
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Started this one last night. I‘ve seen mixed reviews for it but I have to say it‘s entertaining so far.

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TracyReadsBooks
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Pickpick

This debut is a thoughtful and engaging story about community, belonging, and friendship with a healthy dose of the power of creativity. It‘s the story of two unlikely friends, a young boy new to the community and a shopkeeper who has never gotten over the death of his wife, and how they inspire and challenge each other. When politics threaten the shop, each must decide what they want & what the future holds. On sale 11/22.

24 likes1 stack add
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TracyReadsBooks
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One last straggler showed up on my doorstep this afternoon…very excited to read this one!

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Braiding Sweetgrass | Robin Wall Kimmerer
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Super excited about Saturday book mail and this eclectic stack of books. Sunny, high 60s, chores are done—it‘s a gorgeous day. Now all I have to do is decide which one to read first!

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TracyReadsBooks
Hench | Natalie Zina Walschots
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This. Book.😍Anna is a low level villain‘s henchman trying to make ends meet when a superhero swoops in to save the day killing henchmen & injuring Anna. While she‘s recovering, Anna decides to run the numbers, do a cost benefit analysis of hero activities. What she finds draws the attention of a powerful villain & together they set out to reveal the truth about heroes. You‘ll root for the villains in this one—I did! Fun & imaginative & excellent.

22 likes3 stack adds
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TracyReadsBooks
Later | Stephen King
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A fun, fast read about a kid who sees dead people (but not like that kid in the movie he‘ll tell you) and the ways in which people, friends and family, use him and his ability for their own purposes. It‘s King so it‘s atmospheric, creepy, and entertaining as anything.

21 likes1 stack add
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Later | Stephen King
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I would read it for the cover alone but it just so happens to be Stephen King so this is my Thursday afternoon sorted…

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TracyReadsBooks
Firekeeper's Daughter | Angeline Boulley
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Mehso-so

Likely an #unpopularopinion but while I found this debut to be readable & more entertaining than not, I didn‘t love it. The writing is solid, setting fantastic, as is everything we learn about Ojibwe culture, it has a strong female lead, & the story is timely, but there‘s little mystery, narrative threads with no real conclusion, & a scene incorporated so inelegantly & unnecessarily it completely derails the story. A great book with more editing.

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TracyReadsBooks
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Mehso-so

I just didn‘t love it and there is so much to like about this book (and series)—fantastic premise, interesting characters, great worldbuilding, good writing and yet, I don‘t love the way in which Novik, whose Uprooted is one of my favorite books, is telling the story. Somehow it just doesn‘t work and I found myself skimming quite a few pages in the middle. I‘ll keep reading for all the reasons listed above & just hope the telling gets better.

ShyBookOwl I felt the same. I LOVE Uprooted, and Spinning Silver, but this one was a bit of a snooze. I think for me it was too much worldbuilding (a combo of info-dumping and telling instead of showing), so I never felt like I was properly IN the story. 2w
TracyReadsBooks @ShyBookOwl Agree 💯. And there really isn‘t any forward momentum to the story—this book felt like we were right back in the first one still trying to just survive the school (albeit with a little more help this time). Pacing is definitely an issue. 2w
ShyBookOwl @TracyReadsBooks Yes! And I definitely felt taken for a ride when I realized The LAST Graduate would not be the LAST book of the series 😅 Not sure I'll pick up the 3rd. 2w
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CBee @TracyReadsBooks I started A Deadly Education months ago and still haven‘t finished it. It‘s just so much info and not much happening. 2w
TracyReadsBooks @CBee Also sooo true in this book! 😬 2w
TracyReadsBooks @ShyBookOwl Right? I really don‘t know or understand where Novik wants to take the story. 2w
15 likes6 comments
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TracyReadsBooks
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I‘ve had this book on my shelf…well, ever since it came out. 😬 Just haven‘t gotten to it but having just accomplished the rare and remarkable feat of winning the Hugo—as a middle book in a trilogy!!!—and with the final book in the trilogy coming out next week, I think now is the right time to start reading it.

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TracyReadsBooks
Salmon Wars: The Dark Underbelly of Our Favorite Fish | Douglas Frantz, Catherine Collins
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This book offers an eye-opening, sobering look at aquaculture generally & farm raised salmon more specifically. Whether discussing the ecological & environmental impacts of salmon farming, quality of the salmon, health implications for those who eat salmon, industry standards & regulations, sustainability, or, of course, the economics, this book reminds readers its important to know where your food comes from & exactly what you are eating.

SamAnne My first job was in a salmon farm. I try hard to never eat it. I spent more than 2 decades working on wild salmon restoration. Salmon farms do enormous damage to wild salmon runs. And sadly, restaurants continually misrepresent farmed as wild. If they say it is British Columbia salmon or Norwegian salmon, it‘s farm-raised, not wild. 2w
TracyReadsBooks @SamAnne Such an important, eye-opening book with deceptive marketing and labels that don‘t give consumers enough information something the authors discuss at length. The lack of oversight and clear disregard for consumers, the environment, & wild salmon is perhaps not surprising but definitely very disappointing. No salmon here either. 2w
20 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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TracyReadsBooks
Monstress | Marjorie Liu
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Vol. 7–This comic defies easy description…maybe if my life depended on it I could come up with a good description of the vivid, wildly imaginative & compelling story & world Liu and Takeda bring to life in this comic…maybe. What I can say is that the story is populated with complex, flawed, & always intriguing characters caught up in an ancient, seemingly never ending battle illustrated in visually stunning, gorgeous art. Another excellent volume.

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Florida | Lauren Groff
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Excellent—unbelievably good—writing, fantastic stories, & loads of marginally happy & occasionally hopeful but mostly unhappy, dissatisfied, unfulfilled, angry, disillusioned, miserable characters…with few exceptions. I loved it. Because in the end this is a collection of stories about humanity, about people being people through all the ups & downs & in betweens in life. Standout stories include Ghosts and Empties, Eyewall, Above and Below.

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Florida | Lauren Groff
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In the mood for some short stories so I‘m throwing this one into the mix. Loved the first story, Ghosts and Empties, so I‘m thinking I made a good decision…

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Starting this one today

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#Two4Tuesday

1. Such a good question—have to go with post-apocalyptic on this one

2. The tagged book would be my top recommendation. Combine the collapse of society, and the aftermath, with vampires as they were meant to be—no sparkles here—and you get a dark, terrifying, & utterly engrossing story. Inspired by the author‘s daughter who asked him to write a story about a girl who saves the world, this book is a favorite

@TheSpineView

TNbookworm Yes, love the whole series! 3w
TheSpineView Enjoyed the book. Need to read the rest of the series. Thanks for playing! 3w
12 likes2 comments
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TracyReadsBooks
Red Clocks: A Novel | Leni Zumas
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Pickpick

That feeling when you read a story set in a dystopian future that, it turns out, isn‘t really in the future at all but is, in fact, unfolding before our very eyes… Set in a future when abortion is illegal & a Personhood Amendment has been passed, this story follows the lives of four women and what they come to understand about freedom, autonomy, motherhood, identity & more. Well-written, visceral, & thought provoking. Lots to think about…

24 likes1 stack add
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TracyReadsBooks
Murder on Black Swan Lane | Andrea Penrose
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You‘ve read this story before—in Regency London there‘s a brooding noble with hidden depths, a widow with secrets of her own, a shocking crime, dogged Bow Street Runner, & people behaving badly. Just because the story is familiar, however, doesn‘t mean that it isn‘t well told & fun to read because it is and this first outing is a solid start to an ongoing mystery series. Light and fun I‘ll probably continue with the series.

Hooked_on_books I like your shelves 😍 3w
25 likes1 comment
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Murder on Black Swan Lane | Andrea Penrose
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Rainy day reading…cup of tea to go with it coming soon…

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TracyReadsBooks
Red Clocks: A Novel | Leni Zumas
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Starting this one today…

Donnasmiles I‘ve heard good things! 4w
21 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Pride and Prejudice | Jane Austen
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Cool covers…

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TracyReadsBooks
Riot Baby | Tochi Onyebuchi
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Pickpick

Let me start by saying this novella is good. Really, really good. Onyebuchi‘s writing is incisive, impassioned and bursting with anger as are his characters—Ella who can see into someone‘s past or their future & who wields an unimaginable power, & her brother Kev who was born during the LA Riots. A story about family, love, opportunity, racism, injustice, rage, & so much more, this is a short but very powerful story.

21 likes1 stack add
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TracyReadsBooks
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I won this is a Goodreads giveaway. Excited to read this debut!

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TracyReadsBooks
Red Clocks: A Novel | Leni Zumas
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Today‘s #bookmail includes the tagged book which is for my book club and one just because. Not that I NEED to be adding to my TBR pile. 😬🤷‍♀️

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TracyReadsBooks
Far Far Away | Tom McNeal
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Not sure how I stumbled across this National Book Award finalist but I‘m glad I did. Channeling the mystery, darkness, real threat of danger, & battle between good & evil present in the fairytales collected by the Grimm brothers, this modern day fairytale finds two teens in the town of Never Better pulled into the machinations of the Finder of Occasions. Atmospheric, funny, dark, & narrated by the ghost of Jacob Grimm this is a good YA read.

28 likes1 stack add
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Red at the Bone | Jacqueline Woodson
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In short, vividly realized vignettes that jump between past and present, Woodson unspools a poetic, powerful and engaging story about family, history, class, status, and education as well as generational trauma, teenage longing and what it is to love and be loved. It goes without saying the book is beautifully written and that it‘s a meaningful, engaging story— Woodson after all—but I‘ll say it anyway. A fast, entertaining read.

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Untitled | Untitled
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#Two4Tuesday

1. Galápagos Islands would be high on the list…also, Santorini, New Zealand, and Tahiti.

2. I would probably select physical books that have some connection to the place I was visiting—a travelogue, memoir, history, mystery, and/or contemporary fiction—plus loads of books on my iPad to read on the long flights.

@TheSpineView

TheSpineView All wonderful islands! Thanks for playing 1mo
18 likes1 comment
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Untitled | Untitled
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When a long weekend gives you an opportunity? excuse? reason? to work on organizing your TBR stack(s)…

Librariana 🥰🥰🥰 1mo
27 likes1 comment
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Far Far Away | Tom McNeal
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Grey, rainy morning is perfect for coffee and a new book.

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TracyReadsBooks
The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock | Imogen Hermes Gowar
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Less about a mermaid, which features prominently at the beginning & end of the book but virtually disappears in the middle, & more about two lonely people who find each other, this is a languid story which vividly evokes the world of late 18th c. England. The characters are recognizable types & their wants, fears, desires equally familiar but you can‘t help but hope they‘ll find some measure of happiness. An entertaining book.

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The Sentence | Louise Erdrich
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Long weekend #bookmail…everything on sale too which makes it even more awesome!

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Northanger Abbey | Jane Austen
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1980 Signet Classic paperback edition. $2.50. The first copy of this book I bought…not the last. 😬