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UnabridgedPod

UnabridgedPod

Joined June 2017

Teachers Take on Books
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UnabridgedPod
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Before I start, shout out to my Fortnite-obsessed kiddo for setting up this photo. He really wanted to included his Harry Potter Fortnite skin in the pic.

I had a (brief) departure from my Harry Potter re-read but am now back at it with J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. This feels SO much as just a lead-in to the grand finale that in some ways, assessing Half-Blood Prince on its own merits is difficult. ⬇️

UnabridgedPod On the whole, though, I did find it to be satisfying. Rowling does a good job establishing Ginny (for the first time!) as a strong character and future partner for Harry. The romance between Ron and Hermione is satisfying . . . and Lavendar is sufficiently annoying. Harry's dual obsessions with Draco and Snape prove both to be true (kind of) and unbearable, while the ongoing relationship with Dumbledore, which deepens here, is both SUCH ⬇️ 3h
UnabridgedPod a great addition to the novel AND quite puzzling.
(Read Rainbow Rowell's take on this--what is UP with some of what Dumbledore chooses *not* to tell Harry!?!) This is a perfect penultimate story, leading right in to Death Hallows.⠀

As for the movie . . . it's solid. Jim Broadbent as Slughorn is brilliant, and I love watching the young actors develop into these familiar, well-loved roles. ⬇️
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UnabridgedPod It's great. Alan Rickman as Snape is my ABSOLUTE favorite. And that conclusion is just gorgeous. Dumbledore!! 3h
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Rachel DeLoache Williams's account of her "friendship" with Anna Delvey is horrific and all too believable. Williams begins with a disastrous trip to Morocco which results in tens of thousands of dollars being placed on her own credit card as a favor to heiress Delvey, whose own card is apparently not working because of a mishap with paperwork. From there, Williams flashes back to narrate the history of her relationship with Anna, ⬇️

UnabridgedPod a charismatic and caring young woman whose eccentricities make her incredibly appealing. From there, we see the gradual disintegration of Anna's story and of Williams's ability to convince herself that Anna is really her friend. Fascinating book and great on audio (I listened via Scribd)--I couldn't stop listening to the ways that Delvey perpetrated her con or convinced a series of intelligent people to fall for her stories. 1d
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Today, I (Jen) am starting Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb's Last Christmas in Paris, our Unabridged Book Club book for December (our episode will release on December 4. We hope you'll join us in discussing this book on social media all throughout the month.⠀

I have to admit that, unlike my dear friend Sara, I'm not quite in a mental place for Christmas yet, but I'm working on it! 😂⠀(continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod What are you reading today? Which holiday best relates to your current mental state? 2d
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UnabridgedPod
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Ruta Sepetys's historical novel The Fountains of Silence is just brilliant. Focused on Franco-controlled Spain in the 1950s, the book alternates between several perspectives. First, there are three siblings, Julia, Rafa, and Ana, whose parents were killed because of their viewpoints during the Revolution. (continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod Julia is a seamstress who works on costumes for matadors and leads the family in an effort to move to a safer home, along with her husband and baby, Lali. Rafa is a gravedigger and butcher alongside his friend Fuga, an aspiring bullfighter; the two bonded during their time in an abusive home when they were children. Ana, the youngest, is a housekeeper at a luxurious hotel for tourists whose interest in the glamorous lifestyle ⬇️ 2d
UnabridgedPod of the Americans she serves puts her at risk. The siblings' cousin, Puri, is a novitiate who serves at an orphanage, caring for babies and hoping to find them homes. The final protagonist is Daniel Matheson, the Texan son of a wealthy oilman and a Spanish-born wife who yearns to escape his apparent destiny as a businessman and to pursue a career as a photojournalist.⠀⬇️ 2d
UnabridgedPod As these characters meet and their stories become intertwined, Sepetys gradually unveils the truth behind Franco's dictatorship, which limits the lives of his citizens, clumsiily covering over the brutality of both the past and the present. The author is a beautiful storyteller whose characters vibrantly illuminate the challenges of the dictator-controlled country and the possibilities for hope and activism within the humblest individuals. ⬇️ 2d
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UnabridgedPod I devoured The Fountains of Silence, swept away by a history I didn't know and characters I came to love. 2d
CaitlinR Next on my list. 2d
UnabridgedPod @CaitlinR it‘s so good!! ❤️ 2d
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William Finnegan's Climbing with Mollie is a tender tribute to father-daughter relationships and to support children's interests, even when they don't match our own. I loved Finnegan's tribute to his surfing life, Barbarian Days, and jumped on this Audible Original, a short examination of his daughter Mollie's discovery and pursuit of climbing. ⬇️

UnabridgedPod Through the lens of her passion, Finnegan explores what it's like to see your child as a being independent of yourself, something with which I am definitely contending! Finnegan narrates this himself, and it's a beautiful tribute to his relationship with his daughter Mollie.⠀

What are your favorite books about fathers and daughters? (or fathers and sons?)
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Hoopiefoot I loved this too! A similar read that I really enjoyed was (edited) 3d
UnabridgedPod @Hoopiefoot That looks great!! 3d
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UnabridgedPod
Beard Necessities | Penny Reid
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Penny Reid is one of my favorite romance authors. Beard Necessities is the seventh novel focused on the Winston brothers (a series that spun off of her Knitting in the City series). Because she does such a great job establishing the characters in this family, Reid is able both to develop the long-term relationship between Billy and Scarlet AND to provide a satisfying conclusion to each of the other relationships that each brother-- ⬇️

UnabridgedPod and single sister Ashley--developed. This book is SO much fun but also provides an emotionally satisfying conclusion to a long-running series. 4d
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Pride and Prejudice | Austen Jane
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In our newest episode, we delve into a classic debate (ha!): to read the classics? or NOT to read the classics? As I'm sure you can imagine, we have a healthy difference of opinions on this topic . . . take a listen, and then weigh on social media. ⠀

Where do you stand on the classics? And, more important, how do you define "classic"?

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Abandon | Blake Crouch
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I read Blake Crouch's Abandon via Kindle Unlimited based on my recent experiences with his books Dark Matter and Recursion (which I LOOOOVED). Abandon gains its title from the town in which it's set, and the book alternates between 1893, when it's a small but functioning gold-mining town, and 2009, when a small group returns to the town for a multitude of purposes. (continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod Modern protagonist Abigail, the journalist, is reuniting with her estranged father, a professor who wants to answer the mystery of what happened to the town's inhabitants in 1893 who disappeared without leaving a trace. Abigail is writing a story about Emmett and June, a married couple who are seeking evidence of paranormal activity. ⬇️ 6d
UnabridgedPod And guides Scott and Jerrod are there for the adventure. The time periods alternate as Crouch develops the mystery of the community's disappearance and come to confront the consequences of greed. He is, as in his newest books, great at spinning out two suspenseful plots; the novel did not, however, reach the height of Recursion. There are some surprising twists and turns, but I did yearn for stronger writing and a tighter plot. 6d
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UnabridgedPod
Sense and Sensibility | Jane Austen
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This week's episode is all about the classics and how we feel about them. Will you weigh in on this debate? We can't wait to discuss it with you!

Cathythoughts 👍🏻❤️ 7d
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Mehso-so

One of my IRL book clubs chose Stephanie Land's Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive as its November pick. This book takes on poverty, access to healthcare, and abuse. Land movingly describes her situation with her daughter, Mia, who she is raising as a single mother who has escaped from an abusive relationship. Land's own family is unable to help her financially, so she works hard-- (continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod she takes challenging and low-paying jobs, stays in a loveless relationship, and seeks government assistance--to build a stable life for her and her daughter. At every turn, Land runs up against barriers that prevent her from making a meaningful change in her circumstances. ⬇️ 1w
UnabridgedPod While I think that Land moving communicates her story and offers commentary on important societal issues, I did think that the writing could have been stronger and more compelling. It is a real-life story, and so I don't expect it to read like fiction. I would, however, like to have seen her articulate conclusions more clearly and communicate her story more succinctly. Overall, this was a solid but not stellar read for me. 1w
Readswithcoffee I agree with your assessment of the writing. 1w
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marleed Yea, I thought she addressed the struggle and futility of part-time min wage, no benefits. But as a memoir I wanted her to have more wisdom and onus for her situation. 1w
UnabridgedPod @marleed Yes! That‘s it exactly. 1w
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I was about two minutes in to listening to Ali Wong's Dear Girls (I listened on @scribd) when I realized this would be an earbuds-in production. Raunchy and real, Wong's memoir goes full on with words that I hope my boys don't say. I loved it!!!! Wong is writing here to her daughters, sharing her life experience and advice for her girls as they grow. (continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod She addresses everything from the inequities in her half-Vietnamese, half-Chinese heritage; her stand-up career; her sex life AND her life love; her siblings; her rules for ethnic dining . . . and so much more! The book is honest and tender, and I'm so glad that I listened--Wong's narration of her own story is so much fun to hear in her own words. 1w
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The Mother-in-Law | Sally Hepworth
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Sally Hepworth's The Mother-in-Law was marketed, as far as I could tell, as a thriller, and while there's a mysterious death at its center, its nuance made it, for me, something in a category of its own. The novel alternates between past and present, perspective and perspective. Told alternately from the points of view of Lucy and her mother-in-law Diana, (continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod the book begins with Diana's death under suspicous circumstances and then unravels the threads of the tense relationship between the two women. Hepworth does a beautiful job revealing the way that small misunderstandings or missed moments of communication build a wall between the two: both women are quite empathetic, and the characterization is empathetic and believable. I read this one for an IRL book club, and I can't wait to discuss it! 1w
LiteraryinLititz This review is really helpful! It was low down on my TBR but it‘s great to know that it‘s got more depth than your run of the mill thriller. 1w
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After a looong week, it's nice to have my feet up! Excellent Book + Snuggly Dog + Snuggly Blanket + Coffee (out of the shot!) = Perfect Saturday Morning. My husband is on his way back from Ireland, my boys are over the bug they had this week, my youngest and I had a fabulous field trip yesterday to historical Jamestown, and I'm looking forward to a long stretch of unscheduled time today. (continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod So far, Ruta Sepetys's The Fountains of Silence is excellent--I'm fascinated by her evocative descriptions of 1950s Spain, though I definitely have a sense of dread about where the story seems to be heading.⠀

What are you reading this weekend?
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Would this be a good book for discussion? @TheBookHippie 1w
UnabridgedPod @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I‘m only about a third of the way through, so I don‘t have a fully formed opinion...but at this point, I think it would. 😀 1w
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Saeed Jones's memoir How We Fight for Our Lives is brilliant and brutal. The story centers on Jones life as a young, black, gay man growing up in the American South and on his relationship with his single mother. Listening to Jones (who narrates the audiobook--I listened on @scribd) describe the ways that he defined his identity within and against Southern culture is fascinating and moving. (continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod Though he makes many deliberate decisions about how to be in the world, I appreciated the way that Jones accepted so much about about who he and his mother were as individuals and as a strong pair. Saeed and his mother, who practiced Buddhism in the midst of a staunchly evangelical family and culture, ⬇️ 1w
UnabridgedPod often avoided articulating certain things that they understood about themselves, and so sometimes, those declarations gave me goosebumps . . . or brought me to tears. ⠀

I don't want to spoil anything about Jones's journey (and I think it's going to be hard to do justice to the book's power in a short book review--there's too much nuance for that), but I'll just say that his writing is the star. ⬇️
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UnabridgedPod While I'm glad that I listened because of the power of Jones's voice in narrating his own story, I often wished for a text copy, too, because there were quotations I desperately wanted to mark. His style is not showy, but it's precise and contemplative. There's a sense of humor and a foundation of love that lie underneath the whole of the narrative. 1w
Reggie Sounds great!! 1w
Cinfhen This does sound powerful 1w
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UnabridgedPod
The Dutch House | Ann Patchett
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"The story of my sister was the only one I was ever meant to tell."⠀

I read a lot of REALLY good books, but I don't know the last book that has captured me as quickly or as completely as Ann Patchett's The Dutch House. (I should look back at my Goodreads account to tell you which one it was, but I'm just basking in the glory of this one right now.) (continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod The novel is a beautiful story of siblings Danny and Maeve Conroy, the children of single father Cyril, an eccentric real estate speculator who purchases a mansion known as the Dutch House for his wife and children. Soon after, his wife leavees for India, and the three are left to be a family alone . . . until Cyril marries Andrea, an evil stepmother worthy of fairytales. ⬇️ 2w
UnabridgedPod Andrea and her daughters, Norma and Bright, take over the Dutch House and Danny and Maeve's family in a way that seems both beyond belief and all too possible.

I can't think of another novel so focused on a sibling relationship, but the love between Danny, the narrator, and his sister Maeve is the shining center of The Dutch House. ⬇️
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UnabridgedPod The narrative floats smoothly between past and present, between the siblings as adults and their childhood, to emphasize the central tenets of the family they build between the two of them. Part of the joy of the novel is in the discovery of what happens to Danny and Maeve, and part of it is in the gorgeous storytelling behind those events. This will be one of my favorite books of the year. 2w
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marleed I absolutely loved this story. It changed up my Top6Reads for 2019. I have to purchase in print because I must own this. I listened to the Tom Hanks audiobook- it was incredible. I almost bailed on my next audiobook because I only wanted this story by Tom Hanks coming through my ear buds. 2w
UnabridgedPod @marleed I‘m really considering re-reading the audiobook! I‘ve heard such good things. ❤️ 2w
marleed @UnabridgedPod Tom Hanks has this uncanny ability to read as an adult and as his former child self. I highly recommend! 2w
UnabridgedPod @marleed Thanks for the rec! 😀 2w
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Today, we released our episode discussing Maggie O'Farrell's I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death, a gorgeous memoir told through interconnected essays. This book, the first Readers' Choice book for Unabridged, is our book club book for November, so head over to discuss it with us all month on social media.⠀

Have you read I Am, I Am, I Am? What did you think?

EJG31 Loved it and I don't usually read short stories. 2w
Reagan-reads I loved this book. 2w
UnabridgedPod @EJG31 Yes! I loved the way they were connected. 2w
UnabridgedPod @Reagan-reads ❤️ 2w
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Whisper Network: A Novel | Chandler Baker
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Sooooo many moments in Chandler Baker's Whisper Network made me sit up and huff a laugh in painful recognition. This book is, on its surface, a mystery and a suspense novel, but it's also a book about women. Much of it is about women in corporate culture, but it's also just about women: the ways that we think we're enlightened and progressive and living in a new world AND the ways that sometimes those things just aren't true. ⬇️

UnabridgedPod It's a feminist book and a true book and a #metoo book.
The suspenseful parts of the novel are solid if not revelatory. There were a few places where the book dragged a bit--I felt as if some sections could have moved faster. But the keen, observing eye of the novel, which comes packaged in a first-person-plural perspective (love it!), is brilliant, and the women at its center are compelling and flawed.
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UnabridgedPod The book focuses on Sloane, Ardie, and Grace, three friends at a firm with different approaches to making it. Sloane is the always-put-together, on-the-fast-track mom/wife who is social and extroverted and sometimes oblivious (sometimes willfully so) but also caring and bold. Ardie is the recently divorced mom who has "opted out" of the high expectations for appearance and fashion, ⬇️ 2w
UnabridgedPod t he brilliant lawyer who is an introvert but also fiercely loyal to her friends. And Grace is the new mom who is struggling with sleeplessness and the need to maintain her beauty-pageant appearance, while she's also pumping and trying to maintain her marriage. Into their midst comes Katherine, a young lawyer who seems to be susceptible to the predation of Ames, a man who plays a role in the lives of each woman. ⬇️ 2w
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UnabridgedPod When Sloane, Ardie, and Grace band together to try to protect Katherine, they end up taking on a culture that has in the past remained a silent but obvious threat.⠀

There's a lot going on here: a secret and anonymous spreadsheet of men that women should avoid; a subplot about Sloane's daughter being bullied at school (I LOOOOVE this one), ⬇️
2w
UnabridgedPod a cleaning lady at the office who becomes increasingly important, and complicated family dynamics for each woman that play into her decisions. It's not a perfect novel, but it is one that made me think. A lot. 2w
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Great review! We are reading this one in 2020 for our #BotmBuddyRead 2w
UnabridgedPod @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks It will be fabulous for discussion!! 2w
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @UnabridgedPod awesome!! I‘m looking forward to it!! 2w
Hooked_on_books I loved this book! I felt so seen. 2w
UnabridgedPod @Hooked_on_books Yes! That‘s the perfect way to say it 2w
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The Book of Lost Saints | Daniel Jos Older
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Thanks to partner NetGalley for the digital ARC of Daniel José Older‘s The Book of Lost Saints in exchange for an honest review. The book releases Tuesday, November 5.⠀

“They came in boats and airplanes, armed with false documents and holy terror and a grinding wariness of what they would find. . . . (continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod They came and left behind family members clutching photographs, and promises to send money and frequent letters and powdered milk or vacuum cleaners or whatever it was impossible to find that year. . . . Each brought along a cord that stretched all the way back to the island and when they slept, each prayed the cord would send along news from home until slowly, ⬇️ 2w
UnabridgedPod each one came to call this place home and the cords wavered beneath the weight of that present tense” (loc. 302).⠀

Daniel José Older‘s The Book of Lost Saints is a strange, brilliant, gorgeous novel filled with magic and ghosts and love. I love it so, so much and recommend that you pre-order it quickly! Check out my full review at unabridgedpod.com on our book review page.
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Disappearing Earth | Julia Phillips
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Julia Phillips's Disappearing Earth, a finalist for this year's National Book Award, is a novel with an absence at its center. In the first chapter, two sisters in the Kamchatka region of Russia are kidnapped. (I will say: I went into this book fairly fresh, and so I did not realize what it was about. These sisters are each a year younger than my boys, so there were many moments that hit *really* close to home.) (continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod The rest of the book circles the girls' disappearance, advancing month by month through the points of view of a series of interconnected characters. For some, the mystery of what happened to the girls is front and center; for others, it's pushed to the side. But all of the characters' lives reveal something missing (whether it's something concrete like these sisters' presence in a life or something much more abstract, ⬇️ 2w
UnabridgedPod like the freedom of a life before motherhood). ⠀


There is much to appreciate about Phillips's novel, including the intricate weaving of these disparate plots. Her writing is beautifully spare, and the power of the narrative accumulates, building with each new layer. A striking thread that appears throughout the book focuses on the Evens in Russia, a native minority (about which I knew nothing). ⬇️
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UnabridgedPod In many stories, discrimination against this group highlights the power dynamics of the Kamchatka region, which impacts the investigation of and search for the girls. Thought-provoking and moving read that made me consider the wisdom of hope.⠀

Who else has read Disappearing Earth? What did you think?
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Lori Gottlieb's Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is so, so good. It did all the things: it made me think, it made me laugh, and oh my, was there plenty of crying. I heard Gottlieb in an interview with Roxane Coady on @justtherightbook podcast, which put the book firmly on my radar. Gottlieb (both in the interview AND in this memoir) is funny and self deprecating and really honest. (continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod Her vulnerability in discussing her own therapy sessions after a horrible breakup and her earnest desire to help her own patients really connected with me as a reader. She clearly is insightful and is meant to do this work--I loved watching her build relationships with her patients but also, when it was appropriate, pull back from situations that weren't productive. Gottlieb focuses on four patients: ⬇️ 2w
UnabridgedPod a raging narcissist, an elderly woman trying to find hope in her future and to accept her traumatic past, a young woman diagnosed with terminal cancer, and a young woman who is self sabotaging at every turn. Some of these individuals, at first, seem beyond help at first, and yet Gottlieb is able to find great affection for each, to move past their initial, presenting problems to find the real causes of their conditions. ⬇️ 2w
UnabridgedPod At the same time, Gottlieb shows how easily the therapist can manifest the same conditions as her patients as she works with her therapist Wendell.⠀

I was absolutely captivated by Gottlieb's story, which moves between these five relationships and her own history, which moved from a career in Hollywood to a decision to pursue psychotherapy. Just an amazing piece of nonfiction!
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Cinfhen Wonderful review and agree with you 💯 2w
UnabridgedPod @Cinfhen Thank you! 💜 2w
Reggie Ooof, every time I came back from break at work reading this there would be tears in my eyes. Omg, Julie, Rita, Jon, and Charlotte...😭❤️ 2w
mcctrish I can‘t really believe how many levels this book is awesome on 2w
UnabridgedPod @Reggie I know! I came to love them all so much. 2w
UnabridgedPod @mcctrish Absolutely!! 2w
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Whisper Network: A Novel | Chandler Baker
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It's a frosty November morning here in Virginia, and I (Jen) am starting The Whisper Network, the first book I'm beginning in November. (I finished Julia Phillips's Disappearing Earth this morning. Wow.) ⠀

Anyway, I found that my October TBR was taken over by deadlines--due dates for the library, books I needed to read for the podcast, and book club selections. (continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod I'm hoping this month to dive into the pile of books that I actually. own.(!) that I've been saving. (I must confess here that I did cave this week, after vowing not to put more library books on hold, and added a significant stack to my holds list. The new arrivals list is just too tempting!).⠀

So what are you reading today? What are you planning to read in November?
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SamAnne I loved Disappearing Earth! Will have to check out Whisper Network. 2w
UnabridgedPod @SamAnne I loved it, 2w
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I downloaded Nick Bilton's American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road from Scribd hearing Sara rave about it, comparing it to Bad Blood, one of my favorite nonfiction books. Oh, was she ever right. American Kingpin centers on Ross Ulbricht, (continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod a libertarian who applies his views to an extreme degree when he begins the Silk Road, an online store where people can buy drugs and other illegal items. The journey that leads Ulbricht to begin the Silk Road, the way that he dives into the criminal underworld of the international black market, is something I could not stop thinking about. ⬇️ 2w
UnabridgedPod ⠀ Ulbricht, who is seemingly mild mannered, refusing even to curse, somehow began a true double life in which he juggled these personae.

The other half of the book centers on the efforts of a variety of law enforcement agencies to investigate and shut down the Silk Road . . . and that adventure is just as captivating as the story of Ulbricht. ⬇️
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UnabridgedPod I gasped at each new revelation from one of the investigators and then facepalmed when someone would refuse to share that new revelation with someone else because of a bizarre competitive streak among and between the agencies.⠀

Check out Sara's review (you can get there on meaningfulmadness.com and do yourself a favor and read (or listen to!) this book ASAP. Then, prepare to be amazed.
2w
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🌟OCTOBER WRAP-UP🌟 ⠀

What a fabulous month! I read some PHENOMENAL books in October. While I highlight the 5-star reads below, the majority of the others earned 4 stars for me. I‘m definitely looking forward to November! ⠀

Some stats...⠀

🌟 27 Books Read 🌟⠀

19 Fiction⠀
8 Nonfiction⠀
5 Audiobooks⠀
1 Graphic Novel⠀
1 Novella⠀
3 Young Adult⠀
4 Middle Grade⠀

(continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod 🌟 5-Star Reads This Month 🌟⠀
Ann Patchett‘s The Dutch House⠀
Jesmyn Ward‘s Men We Reaped⠀
Alix E. Harrow‘s The Ten Thousand Doors of January⠀
Lisa Taddeo‘s Three Women⠀
Rainbow Rowell‘s Eleanor and Park
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lele1432 Wow that's a great month! 3w
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Cinfhen Fabulous month 🙌🏻♥️📚 3w
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The Gown: A Novel | Jennifer Robson
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Full disclosure: I had put Jennifer Robson's The Gown on hold thinking that it was nonfiction. Huh. It's not. I didn't love it any less, but my expectations *did* shift when I began the book and quickly realized that I was reading historical fiction.⠀

Anyway, I love series like The Crown and Downton Abbey, shows that both delve beneath the glamorous surface of the British monarchic system in one way or the other. (continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod The Gown does that, as well, with its three distinct protagonists. In this case, for two of the three perspectives it's after the end of World War II in 1947, and England is still recovering. Ann grew up in England and has worked as an embroiderer for eleven years for Norman Hartnell, who often designs for the Queen and her family. Ann, alone except for her widowed sister-in-law, takes joy in the creativity and satisfaction of her job, ⬇️ 3w
UnabridgedPod feeling as if she is contributing meaningfully to her society. The second point of view comes from Miriam Dassin, an immigrant from France who is still recovering from her time in a concentration camp and the loss of her entire family. Finally, in the modern day, there is Heather, a journalist who is grieving the loss of her grandmother, a woman she realizes had a mysterious past.⠀⬇️ 3w
UnabridgedPod This was a quick read for me, and I really appreciated the new angles that Robson offers: I've never thought about the people who make the dresses that make the upper class look so glamorous, so reading about their back stories was fascinating. I also liked the way that the three alternating perspectives created a sense of mystery around the connection between the three woman. ⬇️ 3w
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UnabridgedPod And reading about recovery from World War II rather than about the war itself meant that my WWII fatigue wasn't triggered. Great historical read.⠀

Side note: I couldn't resist photographing this lovely book beside one of my own wedding photos, so you can see Kirk and me in July 2004--we were babies! (Okay, not really, but it seems like that now.)
3w
AmyG I just started this., ha...because reading 3 other books wasn‘t enough. The 1947 parts have a real The Crown feel to it. I am only 50 pages in, but really enjoying it. (edited) 3w
UnabridgedPod @AmyG Definitely!! What else are you reading? 3w
12 likes6 comments
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Winterwood | Shea Ernshaw
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Episode 97: Spooky Stories - Twisty in All the Right Ways is live! Listen to today's episode to hear some of the fun seasonal reading we have been doing! If you can't get enough spooky stories, click the link in our bio to view an even longer list of spooky stories!⠀
.⠀
What are some of your favorite spooky stories to read? ⠀

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Winterwood | Shea Ernshaw
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Thanks to partner NetGalley for the digital ARC of Shea Ernshaw‘s Winterwood in exchange for an honest review. The book releases Tuesday, November 5--you definitely should pre-order this one!⠀

“I am a Walker. I am the thing whispered about, the thing that conjures goosebumps and nightmares” (loc. 131).⠀


Evocative. Atmospheric. Beautifully written. Shea Ernshaw‘s Winterwood is a gorgeous YA fantasy novel set in a world next door to our own. ⬇️

UnabridgedPod Teenager Nora Walker, the Walker (or, perhaps, witch) at the center of the book, is an outcast from the world and from her family. Her nightshade, her gift, has never revealed itself, so Nora leads a life separate from her small community, a life wedded to the powerful trees in the Wicker Woods and the bottomless Jackjaw Lake, but one in which she can never fully join the powerful matrilineal tradition that Nora‘s mother has rejected. ⬇️ 3w
UnabridgedPod So Nora, who learned from her grandmother until her death, has to fight to continue living within the magic of the Walkers even while she is “as helpless as a girl by any other name” (loc. 235).⠀

Head over to unabridgedpod.com/book-reviews to read the rest of my review.
3w
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Tell Me | Joan Bauer
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I picked up Joan Bauer's middle-grade novel Tell Me after hearing about it from @definitelyra. What a powerful novel. Twelve-year-old Anna, an aspiring actress, is trying to weather her parents' horrible arguments and potential separation. To give them some space to work things out (and to remove her from the source of great anxiety), her parents send her to stay with her grandmother, Mim, just in time for her small town's Flower Festival. ⬇️

UnabridgedPod Early in her stay, Anna witnesses a strange interaction between a girl her age in a van and the adults she's with. Worried for the girl's safety, Anna takes action to draw attention to her plight.⠀

Tell Me is the first book I've read by Bauer, and it is such a strong read for this age group. The narrative is honest and real-- ⬇️
3w
UnabridgedPod Anna is a believable protagonist whose decision to speak up about what she saw provides an excellent model for readers this age. Through the book, we see how hard it can be to speak up, particularly when others dismiss our concerns, but also how important it is to move past their dismissal to take the actions that we can. The book is realistic, as well, about what Anna can do: she can't single-handedly rescue the girl. ⬇️ 3w
UnabridgedPod Instead, her voice and her confidence are the weapons she can wield against something wrong in her world.⠀

Have you read this novel? What other middle-grade reads have you read that address human trafficking?
3w
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Guts | Raina Telgemeier
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Raina Telgemeier's graphic memoir Guts is another perfect entry in her book for upper elementary or middle-grade readers. (My twelve-year-old son--one of his bookshelves is pictured here--got to this one before I did and devoured it.) Raina tells the story of her early bouts with anxiety and with the physical symptoms she experiences as a result. (continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod She's honest about the way her anxiety complicates her friendships but also about the way she learns to live with her condition. Telgemeier also shows the benefits that she experienced from therapy, which helps her to understand why she's feeling what she's feeling and how to begin to deal with those feelings. Another excellent read! 3w
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Tanya Lee Stone's Girl Rising: Changing the World One Girl at a Time is such a compelling and accessible look at the plight of girls around the world. Through a focus on individuals, Stone reveals the dangers inherent in lack of access to education, poverty, and early marriage.

UnabridgedPod The pictures throughout the book are stunning, and the essays about each girl's challenges and the way she has worked to overcome them are true inspirations. I can't wait to discuss this on our upcoming episode of Unabridged! 3w
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The Gown: A Novel | Jennifer Robson
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It's a bit of a dreary day here in Virginia, so the brightness of my burning bush is so, so welcome. (These shrubs always make me (Jen) think of my grandma, who we called Beulah B. They were one of her favorite plants.)⠀

Anyway, I'm thrilled to begin Jennifer Robson's The Gown today--so far, it's really compelling. What are you reading this weekend?

marleed This is a great book for thinking of grandmas! 3w
Cinfhen Beautiful shrub and I‘m curious about this book!! Thinking of it would make for a good bookclub choice??? 3w
UnabridgedPod @marleed You are so right! ❤️ 3w
UnabridgedPod @Cinfhen Thank you! I‘m still pretty early—not even page 100—but I do think it might be a good book for discussion. 3w
Cinfhen Thanks!! I‘ll watch for your final review 3w
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Tessa Bailey's Fix Her Up is a fun, steamy with a pair of engaging protagonists at its center. Georgie Castle has had a crush on her older brother's best friend Travis since she was a kid. But he was always out of reach, especially when he left their hometown for a career in professional baseball. (continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod After an injury ends his time in major league baseball, he returns home to wallow. Georgie decides that she has to help him recover from his loss, and they embark on a friendship and, eventually, a fake romance designed to move both of them forward.⠀

The novel is funny and swoony and just a perfect weekend read. I look forward to the next book in the series!
3w
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UnabridgedPod
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In the newest episode of @unabridgedpod, we share what we thought of our recommendations for each other . . . and confess which books we didn't *quite* get to. We talk about the impact of deadlines, of reading (or putting off reading) hard books, and of remembering books read long ago.⠀

Check it out, and then let us know what you thought! We'd love to know if you've read any of these books and what you thought.

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Red at the Bone | Jacqueline Woodson
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Jacqueline Woodson's Red at the Bone is a lyrical masterpiece. Her writing is *always* beautiful, and at first, I was carried away at the sentence level, admiring the construction of each character's point of view. But as the book developed, I dove into the brilliance of the characters, as well, completely absorbed by the vividness of each new perspective.⠀(continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod The novel begins with Melody's coming out party, and we learn that this is a tradition that has gone back through her family through generations but one that skipped her mother. Woodson develops the reader's understanding layer by layer: Melody's parents, Iris and Aubrey, were teenagers when she was born, and she has been raised primarily by her father Aubrey and by her maternal grandparents. ⬇️ 4w
UnabridgedPod Her grandmother, Sabe, has made sure that she understands the strength she has gained from her ancestors, the racism and hatred they have overcome to bring her into a place of privilege.⠀

Though I think this book is beyond spoilers because so much of it isn't about what happens but about what we understand, ⬇️
4w
UnabridgedPod I do think discovering these different motivations, the way that the characters' lives brought them to where they are now, is worth approaching with a fresh perspective. It's a slim, perfect novel with unexpected depth. 4w
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I read Jesmyn Ward's Men We Reaped as part of my first #buddyread with @readwithtoni, and I really loved both the book and the discussion. (We have one more discussion to go, about the last third of the memoir.) I always appreciate how having to articulate my own feelings about a book clarifies it for me, adding depth to my understanding. Ward's memoir is certainly worth deep reading. (continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod She focuses here on loss: "From 2000 to 2004, five Black young men I grew up with died, all violently, in seemingly unrelated deaths" (7) and on seeking to understand the societal causes of the accumulation of these deaths. The book is as beautifully written as her fiction--I've loved all of her novels--but the knowledge that these deaths are real makes them resonate and helped me to understand ⬇️ 4w
UnabridgedPod more deeply some of the trends running through her fiction. Ward is vulnerable and honest here, telling her story in alternating chapters. She provides a context of her own life and home, of the disintegration of her parents' marriage, and of her own strenghts and struggles in passages that move forward from her childhood. ⬇️ 4w
UnabridgedPod In the other chapters, she moves backward, each section focusing on one of these deaths at the center of her book. This spiraling structure drew me deeper into her loss and pain, and I grew more desolate as she worked toward the final chapter with the loss that is the turning point of her life. This is a stunning and important work. 4w
Linsy Love your lamp! 4w
20 likes4 comments
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Things You Save in a Fire | Katherine Center
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Things You Save in a Fire is the second novel I've read by Katherine Center (after How to Walk Away), and I loved this one just as much. It's not perfect, but it's a moving and effective romance that's about more than romance. In the novel, protagonist Cassie Harnwell is a firefighter who has seemingly moved beyond the need to defend herself . . . until someone from her past reminds her of her former vulnerability. ⬇️

UnabridgedPod Cassie then has to make a life change that forces her to confront sexism, her inability to forgive her estranged mother, and a horrific event from her past. Center excels at weaving romance into a strong, contemporary novel. Great, page-turning read. 1mo
IvoryLunatic I don‘t read many books like this currently but I really enjoyed that one too. 1mo
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Summer Frost | Blake Crouch
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Forward, a collection of stories from six amazing authors, is a joy of science fiction writing. (I did a combination of listening and ebook reading via Kindle Unlimited.) The stories vary in the intensity of their world building--some (like Amor Towles's You Have Arrived at Your Destination and Andy Weir's Randomize) seem all too close, while others (like N. K. Jemisin's Emergency Skin, my favorite) drop us in worlds far, far away.

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I just finished re-reading Maggie O'Farrell's I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death (it's our listener-chosen November Book Club book for Unabridged, and I was wowed all over again by O'Farrell's brilliance. While I'll save most of my thoughts for our podcast discussion (listen during the first week in November and then join the discussion on social media all month), (continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod I so appreciate the way that she emphasizes both the tenuous nature of a life and also the wonder of living. Each new brush of death reminds the reader of how precious life is. Though the stories could stand alone, their accumulation offers a vivid sense of O'Farrell's life journey. I absolutely love this memoir. 1mo
TrishB I loved this too👍🏻 1mo
Becker The last few sentences brought me to tears 😭 1mo
UnabridgedPod @Becker I absolutely agree. Her writing is so evocative. 1mo
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Gideon the Ninth | Tamsyn Muir
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I liked this book SO much, and I'm finding it SO difficult to describe. Tamsyn Muir's Gideon the Ninth is a marvel of world building. At its center is Gideon, a tough, engaging outcast who was abandoned by her mother in the Ninth House, the House in her universe that's dedicated to death and decay. She has been tormented, since birth, by her ruler, Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House. (continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod Gideon sees a chance finally to escape the oppressive Ninth House if she helps Nonagesimus. Two representatives from each house (a necromancer--that's Nonagesimus--and a cavalier--that's Gideon) must go to the abandoned mansion of the Emperor to complete a series of challenges and earn, eventually, a position as an immortal Lyctor.⠀ 1mo
UnabridgedPod I know that sounds like a lot (and really, that all happens in the very first part of the novel), but it doesn't feel indigestible when you're reading the book because it's completely absorbing. Gideon, who is at the center of the narrative point of view, is funny and irreverent and foul, ⬇️ 1mo
UnabridgedPod and her perspective on the events of the novel means that it's fun and funny even in the midst of death and destruction and (again) a *whole* lot of world building. I absolutely loved this novel, and I CANNOT wait until book #2 1mo
Jesstifies I just finished this today and also really enjoyed it! I want to know more about the universe so bad!! 1mo
UnabridgedPod @Jesstifies It really is masterful. I hope the sequel comes out quickly (though everything is so complex, I bet I‘ll have to review the details from this book no matter how soon it is). 1mo
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Fangirl: A Novel | Rainbow Rowell
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Those of you who have known me for a while likely know that I'm a TOTAL fangirl (ha!) for Rainbow Rowell, as are Sara and Ashley. We finally let our fangirl flags fly on the newest episode of Unabridged. Check it out to find out OUR reasons why Rainbow Rowell Rocks.

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Jean Kwok's Searching for Sylvie Lee was a fabulous surprise. I had put it on hold a loooong time ago and had, to be honest, forgotten what it was about. The novel alternates between the present perspectives of Amy and her mother and the past perspective of Amy's sister, Sylvie, who has gone missing. Amy and Sylvie's parents are Chinese immigrants in America who struggled when they first arrived. (continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod To alleviate some of the financial burden, they sent Sylvie to live, for a while, with Ma's cousin and her family, including Ma's mother, in Holland. ⠀

Amy and Sylvie have a relationship like that of many siblings. Sylvie, the oldest, is a brilliant overachiever with an amazing marriage to a wealthy man, a high-powered job, and a beautiful home. Amy feels that she has always fallen short-- ⬇️
1mo
UnabridgedPod she has dropped out of school and is living with her parents in the tiny apartment where the sisters grew up. When Amy receives a phone call from her cousin's son Lukas and it becomes clear that nobody knows where Sylvie is, Amy begins investigating her sister's life and discovers secrets at its center that shock her. The structure of this novel provides its mystery as Kwok moves between present and past toward a unified center ⬇️ 1mo
UnabridgedPod that will reveal Sylvie's location and the truth about her past and her family.⠀

Though I didn't love the end of this novel (I'll leave it spoiler free, but DM me if you want to talk about it!), I appreciated the build of the characters and the story, the way that Kwok incorporates Chinese culture and language into the book, and a brilliant sense of mystery. Great, page-turning read!
1mo
15 likes3 comments
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Royal Holiday | Jasmine Guillory
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Jasmine Guillory's fourth novel, Royal Holiday, is a charming entry in the world she began with The Wedding Date. Royal Holiday focuses on Vivian, the mother of Maddie (from The Wedding Party), who joins her daughter on an impromptu trip to London over Christmas. Maddie has a chance to style a Duchess, and she sees an opportunity for some time away with her mom. (continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod Almost immediately, Vivian meets Malcolm Hudson, personal secretary to the Queen, and they have an immediate connection. The characters here are well written and believable, the gentle cultural misunderstandings are fun, and their relationship develops along a sweet, romantic path. ⬇️ 1mo
UnabridgedPod The inevitable miscommunications here work out well, driven by their genuine feelings for each other and their willingness to be honest and direct. It's a sweet holiday romance perfect (if a bit early!) for the season. 1mo
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I loved The Ten Thousand Doors of January so much. Alix E. Harrow's debut novel is a marvel of storytelling, of fantasy realms, and of the power of books. Its interwoven narratives serve to heighten the magic of the novel and to deepen the development of the narrative arc.⠀

January Scaller is the daughter of an explorer, Julian, who works for the wealthy Mr. Locke. (continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod While Julian is away, procuring rare objects from around the world for Locke's collection, January lives with Locke, raised with the luxuries of wealth and privilege, but also with the restrictions that come with that position. The novel takes place in America in the early 1900s, and January, whose heritage is unclear but who is definitely biracial, is protected from much of the prejudice others face, because of her isolation on Locke's estate. ⬇️ 1mo
UnabridgedPod Her only friend is Samuel Zappia, who delivers groceries from his family's store. He brings her adventure novels that feed her yearning for adventure and help her to feel more connected to her father.⠀

Something changes when January, age 7, accompanies Locke on a trip to Kentucky. It's there that she wanders through a door that opens into a different world. When Locke finds her as she re-enters their world, something changes. ⬇️
1mo
UnabridgedPod Locke, who had been quite indulgent with January, shuts her into her room, isolating her until her spirit breaks. From that point forward, she immerses herself in the expectations of Locke's world. January has small moments of freedom and self-control, including her rebellion in keeping the puppy, Sindbad (Bad, for short), that Samuel gives her. ⬇️ 1mo
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UnabridgedPod One day, she finds a book called The Ten Thousand Doors, and her understanding of everything begins to change.⠀ You definitely should go into this book spoiler free, so I'll stop there. But I loved every moment of this novel, of the ways that January begins to understand herself and the possibilities of the world, and of Harrow's world building and positively gorgeous writing. ⬇️ 1mo
UnabridgedPod What an amazing fantasy novel. It lives up (completely!) to the beautiful cover.⠀

Who else has read The Ten Thousand Doors of January? What other amazing fantasy books are you reading?
1mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Beautiful 🧡🧡 1mo
TorieStorieS I loved this one too!! And what a lovely photo!! ❤️❤️❤️ 1mo
UnabridgedPod @TorieStorieS It was phenomenal! And thank you. ❤️ 1mo
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Day Zero | Kelly Devos
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Thanks to Partner NetGalley for the egalley of Kelly deVos‘s Day Zero in exchange for an honest review. The book releases on November 12.⠀

“If you‘re going through hell, keep going” (loc. 3896).⠀

Day Zero, a near-future YA thriller, launches the reader into a frighteningly familiar world dominated by political conflict between two parties. The Opposition focuses on rugged individualism and oppose taxes on the rich, (continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod while The Spark embraces identity politics and using government to seek equality for all and to eradicate poverty. After the New Depression created unrest in the U.S., The Opposition took advantage of citizens‘ resentment to elect Ammon Carver to the Presidency, which he won with “money, influence, bigotry and hate” (loc. 941).⠀

Check out the rest of my review at http://www.unabridgedpod.com!
1mo
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Thanks to Partner NetGalley for the digital ARC of Kwame Mbalia‘s Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky in exchange for an honest review. The book releases Tuesday, October 15.⠀

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky begins with Rick Riordan‘s introduction asking, (continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod “Can you imagine what it would be like if you could find a book that wove the whole brilliant, beautiful tapestry of West African and African American legend into one magical world?” (loc. 48). This, of course, is that novel. ⬇️ 1mo
UnabridgedPod Kwame Mbalia‘s middle-grade book is a gorgeous, exciting, moving account of Tristan Strong‘s discovery of another world, one where John Henry, Brer Fox, and Gum Baby join together to fight the Fetterlings, manacle-like creatures that threaten the people of MidPass. Mbalia threads allusions to African-American history throughout the novel, providing threats that have haunted black history into the present. ⬇️ 1mo
UnabridgedPod Though I can sum things up by saying I loved this novel, you can read the rest of my review at unabridgedpod.com. (edited) 1mo
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The Turn of the Key is my fifth book by Ruth Ware and by FAR my favorite. I don't know if she's just getting better (in my opinion!) or if I feel this way because the narrator of this audiobook (I listened on @scribd) is AMAZING. I'll definitely be looking for audiobooks narrated by Imogen Church in the future. (continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod (I was listening on my friendly shower speaker when Church was narrating the creaking above the protagonist when she's alone in her room at night, and I was *seriously* scared. Which doesn't happen very often for me. Loved it!) ⬇️ 1mo
UnabridgedPod If you like a gothic mood--I was reminded here at different times of Rebecca and Jane Eyre--I think you should try The Turn of the Key. Rowan Caine is thrilled when she's hired as an in-home nanny for three girls in a luxurious old-home-made-new in the Scottish Highlands. She arrives to find herself dealing with the (in)inconveniences of a house controlled completely by app and yet haunted by tragedy and sorrow. ⬇️ 1mo
UnabridgedPod Left alone almost immediately with children she's only just met, Rowan is unsettled both by her circumstances and by the peculiarities of her new home. ⠀

Because Ware frames this central narrative within letters that Rowan is writing to a potential solicitor from prison, we know right away that she's been blamed for the death of one of the children. The book then leads readers through Rowan's account of her time at Heatherbrae House. ⬇️
1mo
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UnabridgedPod I've felt disappointed by the endings of several of Ware's books (her most recent before this one, The Death of Mrs. Westaway, is my next-favorite because I felt it was solid through the end), but I LOVED the conclusion here. I don't want to say more, so I'll just recommend (again) that you listen to this one. It's a perfect October read. 1mo
lele1432 Totally agree about the narrator. This was my first and only Ruth Ware so far, but I loved it! I keep hearing people complain about her endings. I felt the ending in this one was well done and appropriate. I'll probably do audiobooks for all her backlist when I get to them because I think Imogen Church brings a special something to her stories! 1mo
UnabridgedPod @lele1432 Even though I think her earlier books weren‘t as strong, I always feel as if they‘re atmospheric and build well. And I *totally* agree about the narrator (I wonder if I would have enjoyed the earlier books more if I‘d listened instead). 1mo
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Three Women | Lisa Taddeo
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I could have continued reading the stories of the three women at the heart of Lisa Taddeo's work of investigative journalism for a thousand more pages. The alternating strength and vulnerability that Lina, Sloane, and Maggie each displays at various points in her story is so relatable, so infuriating, so devastating. (continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod Taddeo's intention--to recount the sexual lives of women in America--is interwoven of her growing understanding of what it means to be a woman. Taddeo frames the book with her own mother's experiences, making the source of her own interest clear. ⠀

The three narratives reinforce each other, highlighting new insights about the ways that women alter themselves to continue existing in a world centered on men and their needs. ⬇️
1mo
UnabridgedPod I was heartbroken each time one of the women dared to hope that she had found someone who could love her without her having to alter herself, each time she thought she had connected to another woman whose friendship could withstand the intrusions of men, each time her family let her down. I was rooting for these women on every page. ⬇️ 1mo
UnabridgedPod I was unfuriated by the men who are able to escape punishment despite their abuse, assault, and corruption. If anyone questions the need for the #metoo movement, hand that person this book.⠀

While I noticed the excellence of Taddeo's writing, she is absorbed into the narratives of her subjects except when she chooses to share her own history to highlight or complement their stories. What a stunning, powerful, important work of nonfiction.
1mo
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I'm in one of those strange places where I have a lot of books in progress that I'll likely be reading for a while. Here's what's going on:⠀

📚 Jesmyn Ward's Men We Reaped - Reading this in October for my first ever #buddyread with @readwithtoni .⠀
📚 Ruth Ware's The Turn of the Key on @scribd - I'm *really* enjoying this on audio so far!⠀(continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod 📚 Daniel T. Willingham's Why Don't Students Like School?: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions about How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom - Reading this one (along with my entire school division) throughout this school year.⠀
📚 Stuart Gibbs's Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation - I'm reading this one aloud to my twelve year old (we love Stuart Gibbs!).⠀
1mo
UnabridgedPod 📚 Jeffrey Brown's Jedi Academy, Return of the Padawan and Michael Northrop and Gustavo Duarte's Dear Justice League - My nine year old and I are working on these two aloud (he tends to begin a LOT of books before finishing any--making this post has made me see where he gets it 😂 ).⠀

How often are you juggling multiple books? How do you feel about reading more than one book at a time?
1mo
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White Noise | Don DeLillo
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This is the second of two recommendations from Ashley on the episode of Unabridged when we recommended books for each other. Don DeLillo's White Noise is, somehow, the first novel I've read by the author, and it was *amazing*. I was completely engaged from moment one, as Jack Gladney moves through the routine of his daily life as a father, husband, and professor with a focus on Hitler studies(!). (continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod I hadn't gotten far in the novel when we recorded our update episode, and that was as far as I'd gotten, but I absolutely loved the tone of the book, which revealed the absurdity of daily life, moving through meaningless routines without thought. Jack's kids (he and his fourth [or fifth?] wife Babette are raising a handful of children from previous marriages) offer commentary that occasionally knocks Jack out of his numbed perspective, ⬇️ 1mo
UnabridgedPod as does his friend and colleague Murray, who seems to examine the life of a middle-class family as a scientist more than a human being. (Murray is also a big fan of smelling products in grocery stores. This is that kind of novel.)⠀

And then Section II, "The Airborne Toxic Event," happens, and everything changes. The family is literally on the run from a huge cloud of toxicity that chases them from their home. ⬇️
1mo
UnabridgedPod As they feel this threat, Jack becomes aware that Babette is hiding something from him. The simultaneous disintegration of his family's physical security and of the emotional security he has always felt with Babette leads Jack to a consideration of death, of life, and of meaning that spans the rest of the novel.⠀⬇️ 1mo
UnabridgedPod White Noise is a novel that is both deeply serious and deeply funny--there are moments of recognition that are quite uncomfortable because of their truth. This book made me want to be back in school, rereading and researching to uncover the multiplicity of levels nested within. Absolutely brilliant read. 1mo
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Eleanor and Park | Rainbow Rowell
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In preparing for an episode of @unabridgedpod focused on Rainbow Rowell (look for it this month!), I decided to re-familiarize myself with Eleanor and Park, which I hadn't read since 2013. I downloaded it on @scribed, planning to listen enough to remember secondary characters and plots and to get a sense of it overall. (continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod And I was swept away. I still think Fangirl is my favorite Rainbow Rowell, but oh my goodness, Eleanor and Park is just so, so good. The couple is sweet, and the development of their romance is perfect: the simple joys of holding hands, of looking forward to seeing the other person, of hardly being able to bear the slightest separation, beautifull captures the innocent sweetness of first love. ⬇️ 1mo
UnabridgedPod There's so much more to this book: considerations of poverty, of abuse, of interracial relationships, of bullying . . . again, SO much more. I'm so grateful to be able to appreciate this joy of a novel all over again. (edited) 1mo
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Our October Book Club book is Anissa Gray's The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls, an amazing novel in alternating perspectives. Focusing on three sisters formed in a childhood of tragedy and loss, the book delves into the women's lives, into their relationships, into who they've become and who they decide to be.⠀

Listen to the episode, and then join us throughout October to discuss this amazing book!