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akfreeborn

akfreeborn

Joined March 2016

I want more time to read!
review
akfreeborn
Florida | Lauren Groff
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Lauren Groff is a favorite author. This short story collection doesn‘t disappoint and as a native Floridian her stories and detail of place and character are well observed and present some of Florida‘s strangeness without trivializing it. It is a state to both love and hate as I contemplate moving to Maine someday! Great collection!

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akfreeborn
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Small Days and Nights is a gorgeously written novel of a Indian Italian young woman who finds she has inherited an older sibling she did not know existed who has Down's Syndrome. Gracia struggles with her return to India, off kilter as an outsider surrounded by strangeness. The language by this poet author is gorgeous while the story is slow paced at times but with some deeply tragic moments highlighting her vulnerability in her setting.

17 likes1 stack add
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akfreeborn
Sing, Unburied, Sing | Jesmyn Ward
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I found this a haunting and meaningful tale of the American South and its racial and economic injustices both past and present. The characters were well developed and I loved the presence of those who were haunted. Lovely and sad book.

29 likes1 stack add
blurb
akfreeborn
Memory Police | Yoko Ogawa
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I do enjoy others picking books but have to admit there are times I‘m not thrilled with my book club‘s selection. So if I were in charge these would be my choices for the year. Mostly fiction, diverse, plenty of women authors too. Maybe my book club should get to pick 24 books!#myidealbookclub

Chrissyreadit I love your choices! 1mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Sing is phenomenal ❤️❤️ 1mo
Cinfhen Awesome choices!!! I‘d happily join 😀 1mo
See All 8 Comments
Come-read-with-me @akfreeborn These are excellent choices! 🤓 1mo
BarbaraBB Such great choices!! 1mo
sirrahde Wow very spot on! 1mo
akfreeborn @sirrahde Thanks ! 1mo
akfreeborn @sirrahde Welcome to The Litsy community 1mo
33 likes8 comments
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akfreeborn
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Such a tragic place for anyone to end up but Elwood was such a bright and hopeful kid and everyone knew it. But Whitehead makes it clear that all these kids were in the wrong place, so many lives ruined, ended and wasted. These places were everywhere but the Dozier school was in my state. It is sad and so shocking that such injustices occurred at all but much happened not that long ago. A hard book to read but so important. Whitehead is genius!

21 likes1 stack add
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akfreeborn
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This book was so well done. Kirn took a true crime story about a fascinating character who conned and even murdered but because he was also fooled by him, he had a truly personal experience. Kirn let himself be examined by others and himself as all the lies became apparent. How did he miss all the signs? Really a tremendous memoir along with investigative true crime. Highly recommend.

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akfreeborn
Bunny: A Novel | Mona Awad
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I really enjoyed so much of this book. Still not sure what was going on but something tragic and very mental. The Bunnies really were something!

readordierachel They really were. I liked this one too. 2mo
15 likes1 comment
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akfreeborn
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Bailedbailed

This one did not sit well with me. Just felt contrived and it did not resonate for me. I don‘t need a book to necessarily be realistic but just wasn‘t buying any of the circumstances surrounding the protagonist. I did not finish. Too many things I want to read.

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akfreeborn
The Witch Elm | Tana French
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Read this for my book club! Some of the best dialogue which kept this book moving quickly despite its length. How well do we know ourselves and are our circumstances luck or do we bring things on ourselves. What part to we play in our own trajectory? This book is fun like a mystery/thriller but leaves a lot to ponder when the murder and mystery are solved!

13 likes1 stack add
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akfreeborn
American Spy: A Novel | Lauren Wilkinson
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I enjoyed this literary spy thriller as I felt Marie, Helene and their family were well developed and loved the part set in Africa. The complexities of the family made the outcome of the thriller less important. Highly recommend.

25 likes1 stack add
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akfreeborn
Three Women | Lisa Taddeo
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This was a very interesting take on three specific sexual lives and how they got there. Well written non fiction that felt like a novel. Great read!

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akfreeborn
The Incendiaries | R.O. Kwon
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This book was not as compelling as I hoped but it has left an image of class, religion and the catalysts to what could lead to violent acts and the power of guilt, pain and the pull of persuasion. I think this is a book you might think about for a while as the characters are more impressions than characters.

24 likes1 stack add
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akfreeborn
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Ruth Reichl is a favorite of mine and it was wonderful and poignant to read of her tenure at Gourmet Magazine. She is so interesting and relatable. I want to have a dinner party with her. She seems so genuine.

24 likes2 stack adds
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akfreeborn
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Got to attend a book tour event for Colson Whitehead‘s new book The Nickel Boys last night at the Tampa Theatre. I feel lucky to have seen him speak. I can only describe him as the coolest rock star ever that thinks he is a nerd. So smart and full of ideas and one of our best writers out there. Will be reading this one next.

Mdargusch Lucky you! 4mo
Stephanie-Anne Agree! I got to see him speak in Austin last week. So witty and warm. 4mo
rather_be_reading cnt wait to see him next month!! 4mo
Nute I can only hope that this gets to happen to me. Doing a Google search for his tour stops right now! 2mo
akfreeborn @Nute Really enjoy hearing brilliant people talk about their work. He is truly brilliant and relatable! 2mo
27 likes5 comments
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akfreeborn
NOS4A2 | Joe Hill
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I haven‘t read horror/fantasy in a while and I just loved this reality bending story. Characters were well developed and I thought it was clever and gruesome without being overly so. Well written and I look forward to reading more Joe Hill. I know I am late to the party but happy to be at it now.

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akfreeborn
Nothing to See Here | Kevin Wilson
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So this story centers around children who spontaneously combust and the woman who ends up caring for them. Wilson‘s book is full of tenderness and is an exploration of parental love and the fear of fitting in. There is nothing really silly here but it really explores how we make families work. I highly recommend this and was so happy to get an ARC. Will be re-reading Wilson‘s earlier works. He is brilliant!

LiteraryinLititz I‘m SO excited to learn he has a new book coming out! Thanks for your review. I absolutely loved both Family Fang and Perfect Little World. 6mo
20 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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akfreeborn
Pachinko | Min Jin Lee
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I loved this story of the Korean immigrant experience in Japan. The author was ambitious in covering the history of the colonial period and the class, race, economic, religious and gender struggles of those without a true home, trying to survive, thrive and belong. Min Jin Lee nailed it. I felt like I could relate to this Korean family experience and am so glad to know more about this struggle. Lee achieved her accolades and I am better for it.

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akfreeborn
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I loved this novel of the Korean immigrants in Japan stemming from the colonial period. This book handled class, racism, nationalism, belonging in this world where no place is home and gender differences. Honestly, this was such an ambitious story but Min Jin Lee nailed it. I really felt like I experienced these lives from their perspective. Isn‘t that the goal and hope for any storytelling. So glad to now know something about this diaspora.

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akfreeborn
Normal People | Sally Rooney
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I enjoyed this examination of a relationship through all its phases and the ups and downs of them both. Rooney does observe people well. The characters ring true.

30 likes1 stack add
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akfreeborn
Small Fry | Lisa Brennan-Jobs
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I think this was a worthy memoir. I was sympathetic to Lisa and her challenging relAtionship with her dad. It was more interesting because it was Steve Jobs but it doesn‘t make it just celebrity fodder. Lisa uses beautiful language and phrasing throughout the book. It‘ll be interesting to see if she writes more in the future.

suzisteffen I definitely thought this was a good book, so painful, and I‘d like to see something by her that wasn‘t about her (pretty bad) dad. 7mo
26 likes1 comment
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akfreeborn
The Hunting Party | Lucy Foley
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I enjoyed this murder mystery and the remote setting but it dragged a bit. Some of the characters were intriguing and some were not filled in sufficiently so it could be unveiled at the end. Took me too long to get through this though

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akfreeborn
Pachinko | Min Jin Lee
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Starting this tonight! Hope I love it!

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akfreeborn
Looker | Laura Sims
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I thought this was a great book exposing the unraveling of a woman. At first you can relate but then she seems to be a little off and then before you know it she seems dangerous. I recommend it.

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akfreeborn
Becoming | Michelle Obama
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I am not a huge fan of memoirs but this was the best I‘ve ever read. I practiced law in Chicago with a big firm around the same time Barack and she were at Sidley. I identified with so much as she grew up and searched for career satisfaction, challenges in raising kids and juggling all life throws our way. I loved how she focused on her nonpolitical life in the White House. I miss the Obamas and am so glad to have read this book!

27 likes1 stack add
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akfreeborn
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A small essay/lecture on swearing, its history and how to do it well in life and on the page. It is an art. Katherine Dunn was the best. I should revisit Geek Love.

22 likes1 stack add
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akfreeborn
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Mehso-so

I picked up and didn‘t finish this book years ago. I finished it this time. I liked the ending and some of the Villete characters but I thought the book tried too hard to be meaningful and philosophical. It came off as forced through the characters not natural. I will pass this book on to someone that appreciates Coelho more than I do.

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akfreeborn
Adele | Lela Slimani
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My second book by Slimani whose Adele reminds me of a modern Madame Bovary. Perhaps a secure married life and motherhood I s not for everyone. I thought the characters were well developed even if not likable. Recommended.

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akfreeborn
Girls Burn Brighter | Shobha Rao
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This book has tragedy ramped up to the level of A Little Life. Bad gets worse and you know that more horrific pain and evil is yet to come. Each horror is an important tale but all together it felt like too much. International Women‘s Day seems to be an appropriate day to finish this book. It is beautifully written but so tragic—really really sad!

25 likes1 stack add
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akfreeborn
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I saw this film before I read the book. Both are just so well done. James Baldwin has created time, place, atmosphere and caring with his language that has a rhythm that captures you and sucks you in. This is actually a beautiful love story of two barely adults trying their best to live their love in a cruel world. The families were quite different but the whole book was about love and the struggle to overcome hatred.

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akfreeborn
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I actually really enjoyed this dystopian tale. It had a lot of keen commentary on immigration, working, consumerism and belonging. I felt sad for the protagonist and her loneliness. I know some didn‘t like the ending but it really was the best possible.

26 likes1 stack add
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akfreeborn
Adele | Lela Slimani
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My tbr pile for February. Short month so likely too ambitious!

charl08 Good luck! I loved Washington Black: looking forward to her next one. 10mo
21 likes1 comment
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akfreeborn
The White Darkness | David Grann
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David Grann really can write adventure and the obsessed well. Small book with pictures. Sad ending for this family. #24in48

20 likes1 stack add
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akfreeborn
The White Darkness | David Grann
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Lining up some books for #24in48 this weekend. No theme just some I‘m wanting to read that I got at Christmas that aren‘t super long. Judging a debate on Saturday so probably won‘t get to my 24 hours but I will be trying!

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akfreeborn
Friday Black | NANA KWAME. ADJEI-BRENYAH
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What a powerful set of short stories set in a near future dystopia that at times doesn‘t seem far fetched at all. These are ordinary events with extraordinary outcomes that seem not unexpected to those in the stories. At times so raw and painful, a really important reflection on current race relations. All of the stories were strong.

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akfreeborn
Homegoing: A novel | Yaa Gyasi
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It took me too long to get to this book but it was just spectacular. Such an undertaking but so well organized, ambitious but Gyasi executes this flawlessly. One of the best I‘ve read in a while. Sat by the fire reading this thinking about all the references to fire throughout.

irre One of my favorites! 😍 11mo
TheNextBook I read this and felt like it took me too long to get to it too... I‘m glad I did because I loved it. 11mo
28 likes1 stack add2 comments
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akfreeborn
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This book was great. So well written and partly funny but mostly terrifying. I loved the sister‘s dilemma with helping her sister but wanting no one to get hurt. Great way to start 2019. Plus, isn‘t the cover gorgeous.

VioletBramble I loved this book. My coworkers are now taking turns reading my copy. 10mo
29 likes1 stack add1 comment
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akfreeborn
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This book seems to be divisive-some love and some hate. For me it was well done, thought provoking and real. Clearly the author understood that there is no easy answer to the “why” and I think she does a good job with the unraveling of the nanny and her precarious position. I‘m not sure this is entirely meant to parallel the New York case and I think it reads better without having that case on your mind. Quick satisfying read.

23 likes3 stack adds
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akfreeborn
Waking Lions | Ayelet Gundar-Goshen
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Not quite through this one but love the premise of what makes a man a criminal or a hero. Not everything is so clear.

17 likes2 stack adds
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akfreeborn
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I enjoyed this read. Horrific crimes all about greed and underlying hatred too. Very sad how deep the conspiracy was.

20 likes1 stack add
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akfreeborn
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My youngest is in the throes of college applications. Once he knows his options this book will be helpful in making a choice.

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akfreeborn
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This book explains so much about what‘s going on in Washington in the parts of the government we need to work for us. This book is full of hard facts and will scare you. This is what happens when those working and occupying DC are in it for their profit and not the greater good. Wish more in Florida read this prior to the election.

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akfreeborn
Autumn | Karl Ove Knausgaard
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I started this today to try and evoke something cooler in the air. Still 90+ in Florida. I‘ve read through September. Anyone else enjoy these daily observations? They seem calming! Like my dog napping while I read.

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akfreeborn
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Enjoyed this one from Celeste Ng. She is so good with teenage character development and well intentioned people gone wrong. The issues in this book are interesting and thought provoking. Loved the presents for the family at the end.

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akfreeborn
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This was so disturbing I took little breaks before I continued on. A home invasion story with a whole lot of helplessness. Hope to sleep through the night soon! But I think I needed a good scary story.

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akfreeborn
Convenience Store Woman | Sayaka Murata
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I enjoyed this quick read. I loved the comfort the protagonist had in her routine and how incredibly she achieved where she was so unsettled outside the store in not being normal. The family and people around her seemed more abnormal than her. So glad she went back to a store.

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akfreeborn
The Lying Game | Ruth Ware
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Much better than Cabin 10. Ware does a great job with deep, dark secrets and the dynamics of childhood friends, and things brewing over many years just like in A Dark, dark Woods. Overall I enjoyed this book but kind of glad to leave these people and location behind.

elyseh I loved this book it's my favorite Ware book. Have you read Death of Mrs westaway? 11mo
akfreeborn @elyseh I have not read Death of Mrs Westaway but loved Lying Game and In A Dark, Dark Wood. Liked Cabin 10 much less. 11mo
elyseh I agree with that. 11mo
26 likes1 stack add3 comments
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akfreeborn
Exit West: A Novel | Mohsin Hamid
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I loved the beautiful prose of this book. This felt quite true and revealing of the complexities of the world and immigration especially of those war torn and crime threatened locations. I appreciated the author‘s efforts to show how communities change and all people are part of all communities even if the place must change. I recommend this elegant book. The door traveling was clever letting the reader focus on the journey not the arduous travel.

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akfreeborn
Norwegian Wood | Haruki Murakami
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What a tragic tale but there was some real magic to Toru‘s journey through his early adult life despite the tremendous losses he faced among his most important relationships. One hopes for the best for him and Midori. This book slowed my reading way down but the book was so worth it.

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akfreeborn
Less: A Novel | Andrew Sean Greer
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The beautiful phrases in this book. The feeling of starting over and embarking on adventure when the real journey is knowing yourself. Really just a great love story.

38 likes2 stack adds
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akfreeborn
Calypso | David Sedaris
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This was the best Sedaris in a while. Handles issues of aging in a poignant way while still making sure my sides hurt from laughing. My family is tired of me reading bits to them but they are all sneaking off to read chapters too! Great one!

britt_brooke I think this is one of his best! 1y
Liberty 🐢 1y
akfreeborn @Liberty and @britt_brooke insults from foreign lands. Classic! 1y
britt_brooke @akfreeborn YES. 😆 I was rolling. 1y
33 likes3 stack adds4 comments