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azulaco

azulaco

Joined May 2016

So many books, so little time!
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The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
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The Kindly Ones by Jonathan Littell
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The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo
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azulaco
The Female of the Species | Mindy McGinnis
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Mehso-so

This was good in some ways, weak in others. I liked Alex‘s take-no-prisoners reaction to sexism - like wow, this girl is intense. Too intense to be believable, sometimes. I also liked how the girls in the book and some of the boys got woke to everyday sexism and misogyny, and banded together against it. But ultimately I found the characters shallow, and the motivations unbelievable, especially Alex. Worth a read but not outstanding.

blurb
azulaco
The Lightning Thief | Rick Riordan

I read this before and was so-so on it. The writing is not sophisticated, and Percy‘s ADHD behavior bugged the hell out of me. But now I have a first-grader who‘s diagnosed ADHD...lots more sympathy for Percy. I am reading this aloud with my kid at bedtime, and he‘s loving it. The writing is actually perfect for a kids‘ book. (It‘s not for every first-grader, more of a middle-grade book, but my kid is pretty advanced.)

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azulaco
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

This started slow and was hard to get into, but then the characters hooked me. Susan, the main character, is SO unlikeable. I agree with the comparisons to Eleanor Oliphant. But it turns out that Susan has good reasons for being the way she is, which are revealed gradually, and she also undergoes self-growth as a result of her unexpected pregnancy and her fight against her brother over their mother‘s will. Good audio version, available on Scribd.

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azulaco
Bloodhounds | Peter Lovesey
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Pickpick

As I work my way through this series, I find myself liking the main character more. He‘s not quite as much of a jerk as he was in the first book. Possibly his unsteady work prospects have humbled him a little. Possibly I‘m just used to him now. Anyway, this book was clever - a murder mystery using the classic locked room puzzle, made meta because the victim and suspects are members of a mystery book aficionado group. Good read.

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azulaco
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Pickpick

This book was a hard read for me. Any book where a child goes through a badly abnormal childhood is a hard read for me. I keep thinking, “please, someone rescue him.” Same reaction that I had to Running With Scissors and A Little Life. That said, it was a compelling read, and beautifully written, as all Donna Tartt‘s books are. I‘ll be thinking about this one for awhile. Definitely recommend, and I‘ll probably need to reread due to complexity.

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azulaco
The Book of Essie: A novel | Meghan MacLean Weir
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Pickpick

I listened to the audiobook via Scribd, which was well done. Very much enjoyed this book about the youngest daughter of an evangelical reality-TV-star family that is not all it seems to be. It was especially interesting to read this at the same time as The Testaments by Margaret Atwood, and note similarities and differences. Four stars, would recommend, especially the audiobook.

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azulaco
The Testaments: A Novel | Margaret Atwood
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From the interview with Margaret Atwood in the Reader‘s Guide at the end of the book.

Q. What do you hope for the reader?
A. That, having read the book, she or he will never have to live it.

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azulaco
The Testaments: A Novel | Margaret Atwood
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Pickpick

I see what others are saying about the inconsistency of the writing, but I didn‘t feel that so strongly. I loved returning to this universe and having some questions answered about What Happened Next. I would have liked to get more concrete information about Offred‘s life post-Gilead, but Atwood explains in the Reader‘s Guide to the book why she didn‘t do that. I loved the development of secondary characters from the first book. Will read again.

marleed I agree! 2mo
13 likes1 comment
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azulaco
The Testaments: A Novel | Margaret Atwood
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It‘s heeeeeeeere! Squee! *happydance*

lilistar I forgot this is out today, so excited! 3mo
21 likes1 comment
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azulaco
Circe | Madeline Miller
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Definitely a slower read than I expected, but I am savoring it. It took awhile for me to get into it. I love classical civ and mythology, so I‘ve been looking forward to reading this one for awhile. Two-thirds done.

ItsAngel This was an amazing audiobook ❤️ 3mo
19 likes1 stack add1 comment
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azulaco
Star-Crossed | Minnie Darke
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Pickpick

Aw, I loved this book. Astrology + chick lit/ lite romance between clever characters. Super fun to read.

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azulaco
Daisy Jones & The Six | Taylor Jenkins Reid
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Pickpick

Just finished this for the second time. This time I listened to the audiobook on Scribd rather than reading in print. So good, loved it again. I think I‘m going to have to buy this for my e-book library so I can re-read it whenever.

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azulaco
The Last Detective | Peter Lovesey
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Pickpick

On balance, I‘m giving this book a thumbs-up, because I really liked the mystery, even though I disliked the main character so much. The mystery was good enough that I wanted to keep reading through to the end. Also, some sections are told from the point of view of other characters, which gave me a break from Detective Diamond. All in all, I liked the writing enough to check out the second book in the series.

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azulaco
The Last Detective | Peter Lovesey
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I‘m about a third of the way through this one. I‘ve never read the Peter Diamond series of mysteries. Are we supposed to like Peter Diamond? Because he‘s eminently unlikeable. What a stubborn jerk. I hope he gets better. Right now he‘s coming off as not necessarily stupid, but someone whose insistence on sticking to preconceived ideas is making him act in stupid-looking ways. It‘s irritating. He‘s irascible, too, which doesn‘t help.

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azulaco
Daisy Jones & The Six | Taylor Jenkins Reid
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I am loving this book! I don‘t want it to end!

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azulaco
Crazy Rich Asians | Kevin Kwan
Pickpick

Funny and fascinating. The Singapore old-money, super-rich Chinese subculture is something I knew nothing about. I loved reading a fun novel about it, written by someone who grew up in it. Entertaining and well-written, a fun, fast read. I‘m currently reading the sequel, and enjoying that too.

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azulaco
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Pickpick

I have always loved Heather Armstrong‘s writing. This book was especially powerful to read. For anyone who‘s gone through a serious depression, or if you never have but you‘re wondering what it‘s like - she nails it. The experimental treatment she underwent to treat it sounds freaky, but hopeful for treatment-resistant depression. I‘m recommending this book to everyone.

20 likes2 stack adds
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azulaco
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We are moving soon, and I just gave 200+ books to the junk haulers to take away. A lot of those were TBR, but I created a list on Goodreads to track books I‘ve given away. Now I can use this as a reminder list for Scribd and the library. Anyone else tried this?

10 likes1 stack add
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azulaco
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Pickpick

How I love this series. This book has far less about being in the British Navy, which is a relief; I was bored by the Navy tangent in the last few books. I knew very little about this time in England (1821-1831), so the political side trips were interesting for me as a history nerd. Lack of adequate representation in Parliament was not just a problem for colonial subjects, apparently. Wow, what a mess the Reform Bills fixed. Victorian era up next.

TrishB I read these a long time ago and loved them 👍🏻 7mo
azulaco @TrishB The whole series? I‘m going for it - all 30 books or however many there are! The concept of following one family through generations is fascinating to me. 7mo
TrishB I just looked - I maybe got to 30 and it looks like there are 35 now! Good luck 👍🏻 7mo
18 likes3 comments
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azulaco
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Pickpick

This is a short but affecting memoir of living with a spouse with AIDS, back in the late 80s/early 90s when HIV was highly feared “gay cancer,” and many respectable people still did not admit to being gay - and certainly, no woman could ever admit in public that her husband had slept with men. I listened to the audiobook, which was a good choice. Such a devastating situation, with huge stigma piled on top of sudden, severe terminal illness. 😢

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azulaco
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Pickpick

I loved this book. Funny and quirky, just like the authors. I listened to the audiobook, which I think is definitely the way to go with this one.

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azulaco
Good as Gone | Amy Gentry
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I had to post the whole long quote, because this is one of the truest pieces of writing I‘ve read in awhile. #metoo

MelissaSue81 😢 7mo
11 likes1 comment
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azulaco
Good as Gone | Amy Gentry
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My mother died before Julie‘s hips ever filled out a skirt. She never saw me get my first heart-stop—that moment when you look at your girl in a certain light and see that she‘ll eventually become a woman, and it reminds you of every boy who put a pencil up your skirt when you walked ahead of him on the stairs, every man who stared at you at the bus stop, every honk on the street, every leering comment.

10 likes1 stack add
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azulaco
Chemistry | Weike Wang
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Studies have shown that the brain feels exclusion not like a broken heart but like a broken bone. It is physical pain that the brain feels.

15 likes1 stack add
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azulaco
Chemistry | Weike Wang
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I am enjoying this book more than I thought I would. The writing is clever and engaging. But wow, is this poor narrator‘s family emotionally messed up.

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azulaco
Pietr the Latvian | Georges Simenon
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Panpan

Finished the book, still not impressed. There was an attempt at sinister psychology toward the end, but it just ended up being weird. Perhaps if I were reading this 90 years ago, I‘d have found it thrilling and intense. Or perhaps it‘s the fault of the new translation. Either way, the book fell flat. Worthwhile as part of the history of the mystery genre, but I was very disappointed by my first Maigret novel.

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azulaco
Buttons and Bones | Monica Ferris
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Pickpick

Another cute cozy mystery featuring Betsy Devonshire and her friends, this one involving a surprise corpse in an old cabin and a decades-old murder. I kind of guessed where the ending was going, but still enjoyed this one a lot. I loved the free cross stitch pattern at the end of the book so much, I ran out and got supplies to do it! First time I‘ve done that with one of the free patterns in this series.

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azulaco
Pietr the Latvian | Georges Simenon
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I‘m trying with this one, but I‘m finding it hard to follow what‘s going on. Not impressed with Maigret so far.

9 likes1 stack add
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azulaco
The Kitchen House: A Novel | Kathleen Grissom
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Finally getting around to this one. I remember people raving about this book. I‘m liking it fine, but not sure I‘d rave about it. Plus, a book about slavery where one of the main POV characters is a white indentured servant? I‘m thinking that the people who were outraged over ‘Green Book‘ winning the Best Picture Oscar year would have something to say about this. I just find it strange. I‘m listening to the audiobook, which is well done.

annahenke It took awhile for me to be convinced, but I thoroughly loved it by the end. You may change your mind. 8mo
18 likes1 comment
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azulaco
A Beautiful Poison | Lydia Kang
Mehso-so

I didn‘t like this one as much as I‘d hoped to. It was interesting that one of the MCs was a radium girl, but no one in the book ever learned that she had radium poisoning. There was an unnecessary same-sex attraction that went nowhere and didn‘t help the plot. I thought the characters were pretty well written. It did have a couple of twists that I didn‘t foresee, and the writing was pretty. But on balance...eh.

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azulaco
The Adults: A Novel | Caroline Hulse
Pickpick

This book was an entertaining quick read. I especially liked the conversations between Scarlett and her imaginary friend Posey. But OMG, no one in this novel deserved to have a loser like Matt inflicted on them. Run, Alex, run!

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azulaco
Bailedbailed

I couldn‘t get through this one. I wanted to, because I was interested in learning more about Alison Bechdel‘s family after reading Fun Home, but this turned out to be more about Bechdel herself and her therapy journey. Which I may be interested in reading, at another time, but I wasn‘t in the headspace for it currently.

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azulaco
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This book is not turning out to be what I thought it was going to be. It‘s very good, but I kept reading blurbs about how Eleanor was quirky! and funny! and delightful!...I just find her terribly sad. She clearly has no clue how to interact with other people, at all, and I‘m waiting to find out if she‘s actually autistic or just horribly damaged by her past. The author has done a great job of getting inside her thought processes. Heartbreaking.

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azulaco
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Mehso-so

Meh. I expected this to be a great true crime read, based on other people‘s reviews, but it was too disconnected and too bogged down in details. If the author had lived, I‘m sure she would have pulled it all together into a more readable whole, ending with the recent capture of the killer. As it is, it reads like a collection of first drafts and notes, which in many cases it is.

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azulaco
Sins and Needles | Monica Ferris
Pickpick

Another solid offering in the needlework cozy mystery series by Monica Ferris. Quick read, with some twists that I actually did not anticipate - when you read a lot of mysteries, it‘s nice to sometimes actually be unsure of what‘s going to happen! Moving on to the next in the series!

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azulaco
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Pickpick

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It was offered as a discounted Kindle book, but I found it on Scribd instead, and it promptly knocked all my current library books off the rotation. Great suspense, and I love the point of view switching that tells the tragic stories of three intersecting characters. Much better than I expected it to be. I‘d love to read a sequel.

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azulaco
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Checked this out from the library yesterday, and I‘m already halfway through it. I love true crime.

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azulaco
On Chesil Beach | Ian McEwan
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Pickpick

This book felt like a short story that got away from the author. The writing was lovely, but my goodness, the author delved into the emotional state of the two main characters in agonizing detail. Recommended, but only for those who are fans of the intensely inward-looking novel, and who are patient with slow-moving stories.

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azulaco
Lolita | Vladimir Nabokov
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Currently re-experiencing the poetic loathsomeness of Humbert Humbert. Jeremy Irons is reading the audiobook, which makes the language even more swoony, and makes the wrongness of the story even worse...but I can‘t stop listening. I‘m finally starting to understand why people describe this book as a masterpiece.

Samplergal The language!!!! Amazing. The subject? Ewwwwww. 12mo
15 likes1 comment
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azulaco
Crewel Yule | Monica Ferris

“Incurable optimist,” sighed Godwin to Jill. “I‘ve tried and I‘ve tried, but she just doesn‘t understand that the world‘s a frying pan and we‘re all eggs.”
🍳 🍳😂

11 likes1 stack add
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azulaco
If I Was Your Girl | Meredith Russo
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Pickpick

Quick read, liked it. The author says in the afterword that this is a somewhat simplified version of being trans, and I see that. Amanda still goes through a lot of fear and self-doubt, which I think was well-written. The author is trans herself and I think she did a good job of communicating Amanda‘s internal life. Not exactly a perfect happy ending, but one that leaves you hopeful about what‘s next for Amanda.

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azulaco
Cutwork | Monica Ferris
Pickpick

Another satisfying installment in this cozy series. Also inspired me to order a kit of hardanger embroidery Christmas ornaments to try. I‘m excited that the next few in the series are available on audio through Scribd and my library, so I can listen to them while I cross-stitch. Perfect 😊

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azulaco
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Pickpick

I loved this book. I‘m still under its spell and I can‘t face reading anything modern for a little while...loading up some Agatha Christie next. I saw parallels to The Remains of the Day, not so much because of Rostov‘s service job, but because of the interior-looking bent of the book. Any parallel to Ishiguro is a positive as far as I‘m concerned! The ending left me hopeful for a reunion in the undisclosed future. So good. Audiobook is A+.

22 likes1 stack add
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azulaco
A Murderous Yarn | Monica Ferris
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Pickpick

Another satisfying cozy mystery in this series. I saw some complaints from other readers that this one was less about needlework and more about an antique car show. I didn‘t mind that. I thought the plot was fun, and the ultimate clue that let Betsy figure out the solution was needlework-related, so it‘s all good. Looking forward to reading the next, and to trying out the cross-stitch pattern in the back of the book.

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azulaco
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“In Russia, whatever the endeavor, if the setting is glorious and the tenor grandiose, it will have its adherents.”

Bookish_B I adored this book. 13mo
16 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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azulaco
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This book is wonderful. I am loving it. It‘s fascinating to read about life in early Soviet Russia. I want to know the author‘s research sources, so I can read those too.

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azulaco
Hanging by a Thread | Monica Ferris
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Back to this cozy mystery series. I‘m reading right through it in order, and enjoying it. It makes me want to get back to cross-stitching. I miss having time for needlework. #momlife

13 likes1 stack add
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azulaco
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Tragedy! My e-book loan expired before I could finish, and it isn‘t renewable since the book had a waitlist! How can I wait until the e-book comes back to me again? 😭😭😭 I don‘t want to buy it, and Scribd doesn‘t have it yet. Darned life, getting in the way of my timely reading of library books.

CouronneDhiver I‘ve been there so many times... 😒 frustrating. 14mo
Apinlibraryland Scribd has it! I listened to it on there. 14mo
azulaco @Apinlibraryland I searched for it before on Scribd, did not see it...now I see the audio. Maybe I dreamed searching for it before? 🤷🏻‍♀️ Who knows, I‘m just happy I found it! Also I put another e-book hold on it at another library and it came in fast, so now I can get through it double-quick! 14mo
13 likes1 stack add3 comments
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azulaco
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Wow. This book is heavy, but so worth reading, if you‘re wondering just how in the heck all those fools ended up addicted to OxyContin (spoiler alert: most of them weren‘t fools; they were victims of careless prescribing methods pushed by the makers of OxyContin).

MommyWantsToReadHerBook I was just reading an article last week on the family that got rich from Oxycontin and other drugs. So despicable. 14mo
8 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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azulaco
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Yayyyy for my library allowing me to renew this e-book! Now I don‘t have to wait an indeterminate amount of time to get it back and find out what happens! I‘m getting more and more drawn in as it goes along, but life has gotten in the way of finishing it quickly. It‘s an interesting premise. The creepy factor just keeps building...well done, author!