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effani
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Pickpick

I've been in a pretty bad reading slump for the past few months, and I haven't felt excited to talk about what little I have read, but this book is an exception. It's my #BookSpin pick for this month, and I read it in one day. What a delightful book! It's absolutely hilarious and just what I needed right now. Highly recommended if you could use something lighthearted but still thoughtful.

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effani
Marriage of Unconvenience | Chelsea M Cameron
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Here's my #BookSpin list for October. Parts of this list are weirdly similar to my July list, but the randomizer still seems to be working so I think it's just a coincidence. Or a sign that no, I really need to get around to some of these books.

Thanks, @TheAromaofBooks!

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 1y
14 likes1 comment
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effani
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I'm officially in a reading slump and still struggling through my August #BookSpin book, but still posting a list for September. Living in hope, I guess. Thanks, @TheAromaofBooks!

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! Good luck!! 1y
21 likes1 comment
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effani
The Second Mango | Shira Glassman
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I haven't really been around lately, but I do have a #BookSpin list for August (and a review for my July book, if I get around to writing it). Looking forward to seeing what comes up. Thanks, @TheAromaofBooks!

tenar I read Howl‘s Moving Castle for July and was so delighted by it; I can definitely see a reread myself in the future, too. Also love Ancillary Justice. Great list! 1y
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 1y
14 likes2 comments
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effani
The Siren Depths | Martha Wells
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I finished 10 books in June, which is unusually high for me these days. I got a boost to my reading motivation after finally finishing Borderlands/La Frontera, which is good but challenging so was weighing me down a bit. Good progress on #ReadHarder, finally, plus a couple of extracurricular romance/sff books. The Siren Depths was my favorite, but I'd recommend just about anything on this list. #MonthlyWrapUp

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effani
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"Ninety degrees Fahrenheit below freezing"? If you want to calculate from the freezing point, why on earth wouldn't you use Celsius? And if you insist on using Fahrenheit for the sake of your American readers, at least calculate from zero so we can compare it to other cold temperatures we've experienced.

(I'm otherwise liking this book a lot so far; this is just a weird choice.)

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effani
The Parker Inheritance | Varian Johnson
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Mehso-so

#ReadHarder2021: a middle-grade mystery.

I'm not really a reader of either middle-grade books or mysteries, and I didn't feel that this book transcended those handicaps. I'm sure it would be great for a kid who likes mysteries and puzzles, but it wasn't for me.

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effani
Marriage of Unconvenience | Chelsea M Cameron
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My #BookSpin list for July. It's a pretty varied list so I'll be interested to see what comes up. Thanks as always, @TheAromaofBooks!

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 1y
11 likes1 comment
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effani
Syncopation | Anna Zabo
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Pickpick

I picked this book up because it fit a #ReadHarder prompt and I already had it on my kindle, but to be honest my hopes weren't high, because a kinky rock star romance doesn't sound like my bag. I'm happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised. I really liked the characters and I wished the band were real so I could listen to their music. I'm looking forward to continuing the series, because the rest of the band also deserves their happy endings!

effani #ReadHarder2021: a romance by a trans or nonbinary author 1y
11 likes1 comment
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effani
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Pickpick

I enjoyed this anthology, which contains a variety of Indigenous writers imagining the future - almost all apocalyptic futures. How do you write about the apocalypse when your own community has already been through its own apocalypse? How can Indigenous people survive and thrive through yet another crisis not of their making?

#ReadHarder2021: an SFF anthology edited by a person of color.

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effani
Syncopation | Anna Zabo

Warning: extremely niche cross-genre content incoming!

In Syncopation, the more famous band that the protagonists' band opens for is called Five Asylum - and every time they're mentioned I can't help but think that that's also a valid Teixcalaanli name (if you interpret “asylum“ as a concept rather than a type of institution).

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effani
The Siren Depths | Martha Wells
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Pickpick

I am in awe of Martha Wells's ability to pack as much action into a short novel as some authors do in a multi-book series, and still have characters that feel psychologically real and affecting. If you're a fan of Murderbot but haven't checked out her earlier work yet, I highly recommend it. I loved this one.

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effani
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Pickpick

Charity Bryant and Sylvia Drake lived as a married couple in New England in the first half of the 19th century. What makes this book remarkable is how unremarkable they were - they weren't rich or famous, or particularly noteworthy except in this one aspect of their lives. They were pillars of their church and community, and they left behind enough correspondence and other material for the author to piece together their lives.

effani #ReadHarder2021: a book of LGBTQ+ history. This is a good counterbalance to the (still sadly prevalent) idea that the lives of queer people were nothing but pain before about 1970. 1y
21 likes1 stack add1 comment
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effani

“The history of same-sex sexuality has been overdetermined by the selective evidence available for its study. Reliant on religious doctrines, court records, and psychological theories, the history of same-sex sexuality is often framed around the poles of oppression and resistance. The missing evidence of pleasure must be supplied by the imagination.“

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effani
Mean | Myriam Gurba
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Pickpick

For a memoir that deals with such difficult topics - racism, molestation, rape - this was surprisingly readable. Gurba is unquestionably mean, as the title promises, and there's something in here to make just about any reader uncomfortable. She's also blackly hilarious, and I found myself laughing out loud several times.

This book won't be for everyone, but I recommend checking it out if the description sounds intriguing.

effani #ReadHarder2021: a memoir by a Latinx author 2y
22 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
effani
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Pickpick

Another book that I tore through in no time flat. Steph and her mom have been on the run from her dad as long as she can remember. When her mom gets sick, fortunately she has a group of online friends to help her stay safe. Even more fortunately, one of those friends is an AI who likes helping people almost as much as it likes looking at cat pictures.

I definitely recommend this one.

effani #ReadHarder2021: a book set in the Midwest. Most of this book takes place in a small town in Wisconsin. I'm really happy to have found this, since most of the recommendations I could find for this category were for heavy literary fiction, which just isn't the mood I'm in right now. 2y
kspenmoll Your kitty! Such dramatic eyes! #catsoflitsy 2y
effani @kspenmoll Aw thanks! 😻 He is very photogenic! 2y
23 likes2 stack adds3 comments
review
effani
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Pickpick

I sat down to read a couple of chapters of this book the other night and accidentally inhaled the whole thing. I really love Talia Hibbert's prickly, neurodivergent romance characters and the people who love them.

This was my June #BookSpin, completed in record time (for me)! Thanks, @TheAromaofBooks!

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 2y
20 likes1 stack add1 comment
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effani
Borderlands | Gloria Anzalda
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Pickpick

#ReadHarder2021: a book you've been intimidated to read.

I'm not easily intimidated by books, but a fully bilingual text that's cited in just about everything I've read about the US-Mexico border will do it. It's chilling to read about the border in the 1980s, knowing what was still to come.

I wish I'd read this book 20 years ago, when I had more patience for academic analysis and I think the spiritual aspects would have resonated more.

effani Pictured: one of the neighbors' irises, which came through the fence and is blooming in our yard instead. 2y
17 likes1 comment
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effani
A Desolation Called Peace | Arkady Martine
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Pickpick

I really liked this one, and plowed through it after rereading A Memory Called Empire to remind me of the characters and situation. I described the first book as cerebral, but this one feels more action-packed. The conflict with the aliens that was set up in the first book pays off here. We see a lot more of the world, and we see the world through more characters' eyes.

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effani
Fugitive Telemetry | Martha Wells
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I only finished three books in May, but I really liked all of them. I'm on a bit of a sci-fi kick right now, and struggling to read anything that feels more like homework. #MonthlyWrapUp #MayWrapUp

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effani
Fugitive Telemetry | Martha Wells
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Pickpick

Another great installment in my favorite current series. Murderbot solves a murder mystery! This one is a step back to the novella format and a simpler plot, and I don't think it's destined to be one of my favorites in the series, but that's a high bar.

effani There's an irony to my photo background since the whole book takes place on a space station and Murderbot is on record as hating planets, but my yard is so pretty right now! 2y
21 likes1 comment
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effani
The Craft of Love | E.E. Ottoman
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June #BookSpin list. Thanks, @TheAromaofBooks!

TheAromaofBooks Yay!!! 2y
14 likes1 comment
review
effani
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Pickpick

This is an important and well-done collection of essays. It's a little uneven because most of the essays are reprinted from other sources, but the best essays really shine. My favorites were “Unspeakable Conversations“ by Harriet McBryde Johnson, “So. Not. Broken“ by Alice Sheppard, and “Six Ways of Looking at Crip Time“ by Ellen Samuels.

A great way to learn more about disability justice. Recommended.

effani #ReadHarder2021: An #OwnVoices book about disability. 2y
Megabooks Great review! 2y
19 likes2 comments
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effani
Spoiler Alert | Olivia Dade
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I wouldn't normally put my fanfic consumption on litsy, but since it's a #ReadHarder2021 task I'll mention that I read “The Act of Creation Will Be Your Salvation,“ by Scifigrl47. It's Iron Man fanfic, and I don't even like Iron Man, but I do like stories that make me feel emotional about robots, and this delivers that in spades. Recommended; check it out at https://archiveofourown.org/works/401961.

effani For lack of a better option, tagging a book about fanfic! 2y
17 likes1 comment
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effani
Ninefox Gambit | Yoon Ha Lee
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Pickpick

I see why this book is so popular! It's military sci-fi that really leans into the horrors of war, so it won't be for everyone, but it's worth it if you can stomach it. I'm looking forward to the rest of the trilogy.

This was this month's #BookSpin book, and exactly what the challenge is intended for: making me get around to things that have been on my TBR forever. Thanks, @TheAromaofBooks!

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! Glad you enjoyed your pick!! 2y
21 likes1 stack add1 comment
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effani
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Pickpick

I read this book for the #ReadHarder2021 task “a book that demystifies a common mental illness“, but I'm honestly torn about that. Ikpi writes beautifully about her experience with bipolar disorder, but I don't feel any less mystified than I did before reading it. I think the experience of mental illness might just be impossible to demystify to people who don't have that particular illness.

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effani
The A.I. Who Loved Me | Alyssa Cole
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#BookSpin list time! The randomizer really wants me to read Alyssa Cole this month. Thanks, @TheAromaofBooks!

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 2y
16 likes1 comment
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effani
The Tiger's Daughter | K. Arsenault Rivera
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Mehso-so

This wasn't my cup of tea. The frame story involves one protagonist writing to the other to tell her the entire story of their acquaintance. The two protagonists are soulmates who have been capable since childhood of feats no other human could imagine doing, because destiny I guess. I did find myself caring about the plot by the end, but not enough to read the sequel.

effani This was my April #BookSpin book. Thank you, @TheAromaofBooks, for helping me get it off my TBR! 2y
TheAromaofBooks Great progress!!! Sometimes it's kind of a relief when I don't like the first book in a series... it means more than one book off the TBR for the price of reading just one of them 😂 2y
20 likes2 comments
review
effani
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Pickpick

I loved this book in a way that I'm not sure I can put into words. It's about the way that material objects and memories combine to make history. It's about power in different forms - what it gives and what it takes away. I think I'll be thinking about it for a long time, and I can't wait to read the sequel.

22 likes1 stack add
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effani
Sister Mine | Nalo Hopkinson
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Here's my belated #MarchWrapUp. Another good month. I finished six books and DNFed one. Three novels, a book of short stories, a book of poems, and a nonfiction book. Sister Mine (my #BookSpin pick) was my favorite, closely followed by The Djinn Falls in Love and Entangled Life.

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effani
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Pickpick

This was a lot of fun, but I think my least favorite of the trilogy. The first few chapters were full of secondhand embarrassment - you really understand why Eve's family thinks she's a hot mess, but it's painful to read. And once again, the crisis at the end could have been avoided with just a little communication.

Still worth a read, and Talia Hibbert is still one of my favorite romance authors these days.

effani I still don't understand why Eve's whole family decided she was in a sex cult. Is it just because she said the words “Stockholm syndrome“? Because that seems like a wild overreaction, especially given that her defining trait in the first book was her use of malapropisms (which thankfully was toned down considerably here). In any case, her sisters ought to be smarter than that, even if they are a bit overprotective of her. 2y
kspenmoll I am just starting this series soon. Thanks for review! 2y
effani @kspenmoll I hope you enjoy them - I really did! 2y
25 likes1 stack add3 comments
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effani
Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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Mehso-so

This book wasn't for me, or at least it wasn't for me right now. It's not exactly that I expected the coming-of-age story of a lesbian in 1970s Nigeria to be happy and uplifting, but I wasn't ready for it to be as brutal as it was. Content warnings for homophobic violence and domestic abuse.

#ReadHarder2021: a historical fiction with a POC or LGBTQ+ protagonist.

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effani
Spoiler Alert | Olivia Dade
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Pickpick

This book is a love letter to fandom. The best parts was the synopses of and excerpts from the bad movies that Marcus had been in before. It's a bit heavy on the wish fulfillment for my taste, and I never love books where the whole plot hinges on the characters keeping secrets from each other, but it was still a lot of fun.

#ReadHarder2021: a fat-positive romance.

25 likes1 stack add
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effani
Polaris Rising: A Novel | Jessie Mihalik
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I haven't been around litsy much lately, but I do have a new #BookSpin list for April. My schedule is shaping up to be a bit erratic, so I'm sticking to digital books that I own. Thanks, @TheAromaofBooks!

TheAromaofBooks Yay!! Good luck!! 2y
24 likes1 comment
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effani
Spoiler Alert | Olivia Dade
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I'm 25% of the way into this book and have two comments so far:

1. Maybe I should have reread the Aeneid first?
2. I wasn't planning on doing the fanfic category for #ReadHarder 2021 yet, but I might have to take a detour.

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effani
Sister Mine | Nalo Hopkinson
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Pickpick

Makeda and Abby were born conjoined twins. When they were separated by their paternal relatives, the gods, Abby got all the magic while Makeda got two functional legs - and bitter jealousy. This is a beautiful novel about sisterhood and complicated family relationships, and I loved it.

This was my #BookSpin pick, and it was a real win. Thanks, @TheAromaofBooks!

19 likes1 stack add
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effani
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Pickpick

The best kind of science writing. Merlin Sheldrake really loves fungi and wants you to love them too. And the writing is so engaging, and the topic so cool and weird, that I can't imagine not liking fungi by the end of it (while also being kind of terrified of them).

If you've read Ed Yong's book I Contain Multitudes, this book is like that book's weird stoner cousin.

SamAnne This has been in my bedside book stack forever. Gotta make it happen. 2y
22 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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effani
Bailedbailed

I wanted to give this book a chance for seasonal interest (and because I picked it up for free at some point), but I think Jackie Lau's books just aren't for me. In this one, the characters are trying to have a professional relationship but are so instantly attracted to each other that they start behaving inappropriately before they even know it's mutual. I have a hard time seeing that as a pleasant, romantic fantasy.

effani I knew it was time to bail when I kept wanting to go back to my nonfiction read as a break from my romance!

Litsy isn't letting me add the cover image for some reason (too many abs?). I keep getting glitches when I bail on books.
(edited) 2y
BookwormM I have problems adding image if I make any change to it at all however just a straight photo upload works 2y
effani @BookwormM No changes - I was just dragging it directly in the way I usually do with ebook covers. I can't seem to post bail reviews from my computer, only my phone, but I had the image on the computer and didn't really want to download it onto my phone, so I assume that's the problem. 2y
13 likes3 comments
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effani
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Pickpick

I understand now why Mary Oliver is so well loved. Her poems use such vivid imagery of nature that I found myself wishing I knew how to paint, and they never once made me feel unintelligent like so much poetry does.

There was more Christian imagery than I expected, which I found jarring and unpleasant, but obviously others will feel differently.

#ReadHarder2021: a book of nature poems.

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effani
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I took the found family quiz that @ozma.of.oz posted, and I think that it's correct about what my role in that kind of story would be, and also goes a way toward explaining why it's not my favorite trope!

Tagging what I think is the ultimate example of a found family book, which got me thinking in the first place about why I have trouble with the trope.

Quiz link: https://uquiz.com/quiz/LQQIIC?p=1008196

ozma.of.oz Totally cool! Some tropes don‘t work for other people. 😁 2y
14 likes1 comment
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effani
The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories | Neil Gaiman, Nnedi Okorafor, Claire North, Maria Dahvana Headley, Kirsty Logan, E. J. Swift, Kamila Shamsie, Monica Byrne, Sophia Al-Maria, Amal El-Mohtar, James Smythe, Sami Shah, Catherine King, Hermes, Jamal Majoub, J. Y. Yang, K.J. Parker, Kuzhali Manickavel, Nada Adel Sobhi, Saad Hossein, Usman Malik
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Pickpick

This anthology features stories about djinn by an international group of authors with a variety of perspectives. Djinn as family members, lovers, outcasts, tormentors, and metaphors. Djinn in fantastical sultanates, in the modern world, in the Old West, on spaceships, and after the apocalypse.

There were a few stories that I was missing cultural background for, and a couple more that just weren't for me, but overall the collection is fantastic.

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effani
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I finished six books in February, and bailed on two more. Taking the month off from Americans was a fun challenge, and I read authors from Ethiopia, China, Canada, and the UK. I'd recommend any of the ones I finished if they sound like something you'd enjoy, but I think my personal favourite was Chop Suey Nation. #MonthlyWrapUp #FebruaryWrapUp

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effani
The Princess Trap | Talia Hibbert
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Pickpick

I thought at first that this book was going to suffer in comparison to Alyssa Cole's A Prince on Paper. The premises are similar: the rogue prince of a tiny (imaginary) European nation, beloved of tabloids, gets fake-engaged to a Black woman. But the books go in different directions from there. This one is dirtier, for one thing; and where Cole improbably had me rooting for the monarchy, Hibbert shows the whole institution as rotten to its core.

effani There is a lot of kinky sex and a lust-at-first-sight situation, neither of which is my thing, but the emotions and the way the characters work through their problems made it work for me. 2y
23 likes1 comment
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effani
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Mini bookstore haul today. I don't buy a lot of print books these days, but I can still support my local bookstore with some reference and how-to picks.

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effani
The Gate of Sorrows | Miyuki Miyabe
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Bailedbailed

Not the right match of book and reader. If a slow-paced supernatural serial killer thriller sounds like your cup of tea, check this one out. It's not my thing.

BookishMarginalia Gorgeous kitty! #CatsofLitsy 2y
effani @BookishMarginalia Aw, thanks! He's a sweetie! 2y
25 likes3 comments
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effani
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Here's my March #BookSpin list. I'm pretty happy with how this one turned out! @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Yay!!!! 2y
22 likes1 stack add1 comment
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effani
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"Just weeks earlier, I had been so dismissive of this food as "fake Chinese." Now I realized I had been completely wrong."

I can't stop thinking about this quote reframing the idea of "authenticity" in Chinese-North American food. This is really the takeaway message of the whole book.

The_Penniless_Author I like this a lot. I've always hated the snobby attitude toward "Americanized" versions of food vs. the supposedly authentic versions. Chinese-American is at this point its own cuisine, and you can have "authentic" Chinese-American food. Or something like pizza - an Americanized version of an Italian dish that became so popular and ubiquitous that when most people think of "authentic" pizza, they think of New York, not Italy. 2y
effani @The_Penniless_Author Exactly! It's different, but that doesn't make it worse. And you have to admire the ingenuity of the people who created a cuisine that's uniquely their own to make use of the ingredients they had in a way that would suit their customers' palates. 2y
20 likes2 comments
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effani
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Pickpick

Why is there a Chinese restaurant in every small town in Canada, and why is the food they serve so different from what you would get in China? Ann Hui took a road trip across the country, interviewing restaurant owners and eating their food. Then afterward she discovered that her own parents had owned one of those restaurants. This is the story of her father, and Chinese people in Canada, and the food they serve to survive.

effani I really liked this one, and I flew through it. I could have read a lot more on the road trip, but I understand why the book is structured the way it is. It's interesting to think about the history of Chinese people in Canada vs. the US where I am and know more about. There is a lot in common, but also some important differences, especially in more recent history.

#ReadHarder2021: a food memoir by an author of color.
2y
21 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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effani
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Pickpick

This book has more of a cohesive story-line than the original Alice, and felt like it lacked some of the dreamlike spontaneity. I think I would have appreciated it more if I knew more about chess. But it does still have the whimsy and colorful characters everyone associates with these books.

At some point I want to get hold of the Annotated Alice and learn some of the things I've been missing (like the chess references).

effani This was my #BookSpin pick for this month. I was hoping that something light and easy to read would come up, and this certainly fit that bill. I also noticed at the end of January that despite the fact that I've been doing #BookSpin for a whole year, nothing off my physical TBR had been picked, and this broke that streak.

Thanks as always, @TheAromaofBooks!
2y
TheAromaofBooks Yay!! I read this one last month and rather enjoyed it. 2y
vlwelser I love this cover. 2y
effani @vlwelser I agree, the cover is great! I think one of the best things about the Alice books is how much cool art they've inspired. I got this copy many years ago as part of a boxed set of classics for kids. 2y
25 likes4 comments
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effani
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What strikes me on rereading Alice is how much it follows dream-logic. I'm not sure if it's the influence of the movies, or just the general cultural milieu, that gives the impression that it has a conventional plot structure, but it really doesn't. And that makes the ending feel like the logical answer rather than the cop-out it might be in a more conventional story.