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everlocalwest

everlocalwest

Joined September 2016

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everlocalwest
Witchlings | Claribel A. Ortega
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I feel like it's been ages since I read a middle grade novel. A perfect bubble bath read!

Here's the thing, if it is middle grade fantasy and the theme is 'friendship is magic' - it's going to be my jam. This isn't groundbreaking kidlit but it's a super fun, cute read that I can't wait to share with my nephews.

29 likes1 stack add
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everlocalwest
Lore Olympus: Volume One | Rachel Smythe
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Finished the book and immediately downloaded Webtoon to keep reading. So glad the continuing story is there because volume one ends in the worst possible place. I adore the illustration style and the ways Smythe engages with and modernizes the mythology. Her play with the dress and style of the characters in Olympus vs the mortal realm is clever and super fun.

I don't know how I'll feel about the serialized format once I catch up though. 😱

GondorGirl I've been reading LO for ages, and the way I deal with the serialized story is to only read it once a month or so. That way I have multiple chapters to read at once. 7d
everlocalwest @GondorGirl Excellent idea! I'll probably have to do something similar; I can't imagine navigating these cliffhangers week by week!! 7d
27 likes2 comments
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everlocalwest
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Long time, no update. But finally finishing War and Peace couldn't go without comment!! #TolstoyTogether

Cheers to a happy new year, Littens! 🎉🎆

readordierachel 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 2w
CarolynM Happy New Year 2w
batsy Good job! I'm thinking of tackling it this year so thank you for bringing the Yiyun Li book to my attention 🙂 2w
everlocalwest @batsy Definitely worth checking out. It did take me longer than the 85 days but I still appreciated the guide and light commentary. 💙📚 2w
31 likes4 comments
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everlocalwest
The Moon Over the Mountain, and Other Stories | Atsushi Nakajima, Paul McCarthy
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The return of short story advent! #ssac2021

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everlocalwest
War and Peace | graf Leo Tolstoy, Richard Pevear, Larissa Volokhonsky
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After a very busy week, I've spent the bulk of this glorious day off reading on the patio. Fall arrived in Louisiana this weekend!

I'm still a few days behind but hopefully will be caught up by this evening. Most of my reading time last week was with Phoebe Robinson's second essay collection and Dolly Alderton. Fingers crossed I can get reviews up for those two today.

Sharpeipup Is that chia seed pudding? 3mo
everlocalwest @Sharpeipup it is, with kiwi! Not the most aesthetic breakfast but a satisfying one. 😋 3mo
BookDadGirlDad War and Peace is one of my bucket list books. 3mo
everlocalwest @BookDadGirlDad it's been one for me too! Glad to finally be making my way through. 3mo
39 likes4 comments
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everlocalwest
The Survivors | ALEX. SCHULMAN
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The Survivors was a heartbreaker. Three estraged brothers return to the isolated cabin where they spent their youth at the behest of their mother, who has just passed. This was the sight of a tragic accident that the family had carried and left unprocessed for decades. Stylistically, Schulman is experimenting with time and memory in way that propels the reader forward; it anchors you to the family by making you feel unmoored.

everlocalwest I know that is an oxymoron of boat metaphors but it works! 3mo
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everlocalwest
Ravished | Amanda Quick
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My first Jayne Ann Krentz! Honestly that's the most exciting part for me, ticking off a Romancelandia milestone. The book itself was fine. I enjoyed the bluestocking heroine who was fiercely protective of her hero though.

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everlocalwest
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How are we doing #TolstoyTogether folks? I'm still in it!! Really enjoying the pace actually, but it is slowing my overall reading. Though I think that was meant to be the point for the group, to slow down and simply relish the reading of this great novel.

I just started another chunkster and it is already breaking my heart at 100 pages in. This is my first time reading Ozeki and just, wow.

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everlocalwest
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Sometimes a lovely chapbook comes into your life and just reminds you of all the reasons you love poetry. So happy to have stumbled upon a new poet that happens to be local.

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everlocalwest
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A reread for me that I recommended to my book club (we had a great discussion!). I really love the early essays but this book gets weaker as it goes and the ending letters to her niece absolutely feel like filler. Phoebe is hilarious though and her observations are so sharp and she writes of her personal life with a great deal of vulnerability. I'll definitely be picking up her next two books soon.

24 likes1 stack add
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everlocalwest
The Bride Test | Helen Hoang
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Why did I wait so long to read this?! I was so into it and rooting for Khai and Esme so hard that I felt it viscerally. I am so excited for Quan's book!

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everlocalwest
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And with that deluge of reviews I'm caught up on reviewing books I read while we didn't have power/internet!

Tomorrow I'm starting a new journey. Any other Littens doing #TolstoyTogether?

SamAnne I read it last year prompted by the readalong! 4mo
everlocalwest @SamAnne So cool! I missed it and I'm excited they are doing another one!! 4mo
SamAnne @everlocalwest I loved War and Peace so much I didn‘t want it to end. I‘m planning to read Anna Karenina this winter. 4mo
See All 10 Comments
Lissa00 Yes! I am starting my read this afternoon and also reading the companion book. 4mo
everlocalwest @Lissa00 Awesome! I'm so happy there are other Littens joining in. I did today's reading and feel a bit daunted by all of the untranslated French but got into a flow of flicking my eyes back and forth to the footnotes. 4mo
everlocalwest @SamAnne I read Anna several years ago and absolutely loved it! I read it in the Volokhonsky and Pevear translation and was delighted by how readable it was. I had expected it to feel like 'work.' Hoping the same for W&P! 4mo
Lissa00 @everlocalwest I have the same version but I think I‘m going to switch to the Briggs translation. I‘ve read that the French is translated in the text in that one and not in footnotes. 4mo
mklong I‘m in too! I‘m reading the Oxford World‘s Classics edition because I always like their explanatory notes. I‘m planning to read the companion book along with it, but my copy hasn‘t arrived yet. 4mo
everlocalwest @Lissa00 oohh, having the French translated within the text would be so nice!! 4mo
everlocalwest @mklong Awesome!! I'm so excited to be reading with y'all! 4mo
30 likes10 comments
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everlocalwest
Never Say You Can't Survive | Charlie Jane Anders
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I'm not a writer but I had to read this collection from one of my favorite writers on writing to live. Charlie Jane makes me feel like there is good in the world. Reading her work is like getting a Care Bear Stare right to the heart.

Also, there's good practical advice here for writers and yada, yada, yada - just read it!

28 likes1 stack add
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everlocalwest
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Another stylistic choice that could have come off gimmicky but this novel as screenplay is executed to perfection. Hubs has been telling me for months to read this one and I see why.

SamAnne Loved this one as well. 4mo
25 likes1 comment
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everlocalwest
Neon Gods | Katee Robert
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What?!? Why did I wait so long to read this?!? So much fun!

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everlocalwest
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A delight! Edim has curated a collection of short works from prominent Black writers each addressing girlhood through the themes of Innocence, Belonging, Love, and Self-Discovery. Each selection includes a few questions to bring you deeper into the story and theme making this perfect for reading groups.

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everlocalwest
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First of all, this cover! A strong collection; I will surely read more of Allen's work.

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everlocalwest
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Mehso-so

A difficult read, not only because it is a tragic memoir of addiction and loss, but also because Magee structures it such that his recovery is triumphant and to do so he spends most of the book showing exactly how selfish his actions were. There's honor in that level of honesty, surely, but it can be hard to read about someone who is simultaneously grandiose, downtrodden, and holier-than-thou.

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everlocalwest
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Mehso-so

Did this novel basically push me into a slight depression? Yes. Did I have to discuss how fraught and meaningless everything is with my therapist? Also, yes. Did I enjoy it? Final yes. Do I want to give Hemingway any credit whatsoever? Hard no.

Everyone wants something their friends/lovers/the world can no longer give. Jake wants Brett, Brett wants 🍆...everyone is sad and disappointed and drunk. The end.

24 likes1 stack add
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everlocalwest
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My first Rooney - we got a long well. There's an aching loneliness in this novel about relationships. Are we all so disconnected?

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everlocalwest
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Some books are perfect. This is one.

Asthecroweflies I really loved her Bareknuckle Bastards series. 4mo
everlocalwest @Asthecroweflies same! 💙📚 4mo
19 likes2 comments
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everlocalwest
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I thought I would find the blackout style gimmicky but Baer packs a surprising emotional punch in these poems. Choosing to have the original text side-by-side with her poem was the right move; otherwise the poems are viewed in a vacuum which greatly diminishes their power. These aren't groundbreaking poems but missives of connection in a world that needs more compassionate coming together.

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everlocalwest
Pony | R. J. Palacio
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What a ride!! This was absolutely fantastic! Middle grade but with crossover/classic appeal. This historical novel of friendship and kinship will simultaneously devastate, enlighten, and enliven you. The world can be dark but there's so much hope in it.

KrisNelson I could not put this book down. I spent most of Sunday reading it. Wow!!! 3mo
everlocalwest @KrisNelson Same! So glad to hear you loved it as well. 3mo
22 likes1 stack add2 comments
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everlocalwest
A-Okay | Jarad Greene
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I wanted to love this graphic (almost)memoir about grappling with teenage problems from bullies to acne along with coming to terms with an often unspoken sexuality. I definitely connected with Greene's outsider feelings as an ace kid, but this one didn't hit the way I had hoped. Though, that's likely me expecting too much of the book than an issue with the book itself. It's that problem of the underrepresented reader demanding too much.

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everlocalwest
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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I read this winter novella while baking in the post hurricane heat with no electricity, lying in a cool bath to chill out. It would dishonest to say that my enjoyment of the novel wasn't somewhat affected by my desire to experience the freezing cold of this Irish village at Christmas. But this quiet tale of ordinary kindness was a lovely one to immerse myself in, even if I did pick it up for the descriptions of the cold.

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everlocalwest
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Absolutely overwhelmed by this collection. I read so many of these poems several times and just steeped myself in them. A collection I will surely return to.

SamAnne Same. 4mo
21 likes1 comment
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everlocalwest
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No way am I the first person on Litsy to read this. Where are my other deeply entrenched romancelandia weirdos at?

Whatever, this was actually a super fun read and when I got to the end of the book and was absolutely gifted with this image I almost died. It's just so absurd. I've never been happier.

LibrarianRyan You need to hit the #LitsyAfterDark Group. We are the ones that read and discuss these things. There is a hole big discussion last winter about dino porn. so fun. 4mo
everlocalwest @LibrarianRyan I have never been more excited to click on a hashtag, lol! Thanks for sharing! 4mo
20 likes1 stack add2 comments
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everlocalwest
Ballad for Sophie | FILIPE MELO
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If you are a graphic novel fan, read this. If you are not a graphic novel fan, READ THIS! Told through breathtaking illustrations, Ballad for Sophie is a story of remembrance and redemption. This blend of art and music was the perfect way to illustrate the long tail formed by our early choices. Just, all the feels with this one!

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everlocalwest
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An absolutely fantastic middle grade novel about a young girl who keeps her family together through the sheer force of her will as they travel to safety during the Mexican Revolution. A harsh look at the realities of war balanced by the indelible spirit of dreams and the hunger for freedom.

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everlocalwest
Seamstress of New Orleans | Diane C McPhail
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How interesting that I read this novel through a Gulf Coast hurricane; these characters rotate around one another like a storm! The intrigue surrounding these two young widows will draw you in then you'll be rooted by the historical detail of New Orleans at the turn of the century and the first female Mardi Gras krewe but what you will take away from the novel is the sheer power of female friendship. An exhilarating historical romp of found family

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everlocalwest
Ida | Alison Evans
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Power restored! Didn't suffer much from Ida, week's loss of business at the bookshop is the worst of it. My heart goes out to those south of us; this storm was a lot! Got a ton of reading done. I'm useless in the heat so my husband worked in our yard, helped the neighbors, and I kept folks in beverages and read. We spent the worst of the storm in a hallway - pallet became a pile of blankets shortly thereafter and the kitten proclaimed it a throne.

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everlocalwest
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This is a heavy but important read. The cyclical nature of history and the evidence of systemic failure is laid bare as Baker describes how capital seeks to divide labor by empowering Jim Crow and police violence. I had many people tell me last year that they'd never heard of Black Wall Street or the Tulsa Massacre, but the reality of white mobs descending upon the Black populace as they gain an economic foothold is omnipresent in history.

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everlocalwest
Turtle in Paradise | Jennifer L. Holm
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Another excellent middle grade graphic. Ganucheau's illustrations are absolutely lovely. Holm's additional historical context and family history at the end make this a perfect read for the classroom. About the hijinks of Depression era kids in the Florida Keys, though there's much more here than my short description implies.

charl08 Yes, a great read I thought. 3d
23 likes1 stack add1 comment
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everlocalwest
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This was absolutely fantastic - perfect book club read.

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everlocalwest
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Spent a big chunk of the summer working through this one with a reading group. Very glad I had them for contextualizing and discussion. This is a strange work and I still don't really know how I feel about Alice but Gertrude's self-mythologizing here is just beyond.

(Wavered between pick and so-so on this one but Kalman's portraits put it over the top.)

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everlocalwest
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This one is so much more bizarre than the first, but equally delightful! 💙🦖

DivineDiana I had no idea there were more! Reading the first one now with my ESL adult student. We laugh! 5mo
everlocalwest @DivineDiana This is the second one, out next month - you'll love it! 💙📚 5mo
DivineDiana Thank you! 5mo
20 likes3 comments
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everlocalwest
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A quick listen while organizing data for the shop this morning. Absolutely loved it!

When Floralinda realizes that no prince can save her, she must save herself. By the end she is battlechanged and what does that mean for the life of a princess?

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everlocalwest
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Fascinating memoir abt a genius astrophysicist and all he had to overcome. Oluseyi spends a great deal of time on his childhood; it reads as though he is coming to terms with his life through the writing process and is powerful for that. Descriptions of the undereducated adults in his childhood orbit and the wary curiosity through which they viewed his intelligence made me ache for the loneliness Oluseyi must have felt before finding his mentors.

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everlocalwest
Chunky | Yehudi Mercado
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Oh man, Chunky and Hudi are the best. Adorable middle grade graphic memoir about finding and being yourself.

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everlocalwest
Just Pretend | Tori Sharp
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Not my favorite of the graphics I've read recently but a solid addition to the middle grade graphic memoirs shelf. Tori uses her writing to process her parent's divorce, difficult teenage siblings, and falling out with friends. The real world is interspersed with her fantasy world throughout. Nothing groundbreaking here but a book that will surely mean a lot to the kids that need it.

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everlocalwest
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I read this one a while back and never reviewed it, but because it just pubbed I wanted to shout it out! These are stories to break your heart but read them to be in awe of what power Ruffin can bring to flash fiction.

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everlocalwest
Sword Stone Table | Jenn Northington
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Fantastic anthology; ties to Arthurian legend were tenuous in a few of the stories but it doesn't suffer from that. I did tend to favor the ones that offered a news lens through which to view these tales over the ones that merely referenced the characters or mythos but there wasn't a single story I didn't enjoy. Check out the epic list of contributors, you'll want to pick this one up.

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everlocalwest
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Mehso-so

With Radium Girls the story was gripping and tragic but the writing just serviceable, this book suffers even more strongly for that. Moore did a fantastic amount of research but it bogged down her narrative. A difficult balance, wanting to serve the legacy of someone while telling a compelling story in such a way that modern readers will grab tight to them. Moore tips too far in trying to get the details in Worth the read but sometimes an infodump

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everlocalwest
Isn't It Bromantic? | Lyssa Kay Adams
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Adams has made some interesting choices with the Russian in the earlier books so it was nice to finally see him as a full character. Very sweet second chance story.

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everlocalwest
Chouette | Claire Oshetsky
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Absolutely adored this book. Honestly, it hit me so specifically that to even review it seems like an overshare but I'll say this, it's an experience.

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everlocalwest
Big Sister, Little Sister: Big Brother, Little Brother | Dolly Parton's Imagination Library
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The last two weeks included a lot of reading, just of the storytime variety. I'm so happy I got to spend so much time with my sister and nieces! Audrey loves her baby sister Catherine the most (to a frightening degree really, we spent a lot of time making sure the baby didn't get Lenny'd in her first weeks of life).

But now I'm home and while my skin definitely missed the Louisiana humidity, I did not. 🙃

marleed Beautiful! 6mo
PurpleyPumpkin Lovely!🥰 6mo
Alfoster Adorable!❤️ 6mo
24 likes3 comments
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everlocalwest
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I took my time with this just reading an essay a day. I came to relish them! Renkl is at her best when writing about nature and there is much here to enjoy though I did not love any of the other subjects quite as much.

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everlocalwest
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Childhhood memoir of immigration, fear, & poverty. Wang is deeply connected with her child self and the tone of this memoir feels as though the story is being told by that frightened girl rather than the woman she has become, which makes for a powerful read! Towards the end of the memoir as Wang comes to terms with her childhood trauma she acknowledges the power inherent in vulnerability and the reader can see how this book began. Truly a triumph!

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everlocalwest
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Panpan

I don't like to say that any book is pointless, but... This book is a third the size of the first volume (which I didn't really mind because I did not particularly enjoy reading it) and recycles several stories from that previous book. Why does this exist beyond being a gift item for booksellers? That's how I got mine, but I wouldn't recommend it. Although I didn't enjoy the first book it at least had a reason for being; not so much here.

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everlocalwest
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Very cute! Basically any time Friendship is Magic is a theme I'm here for it.

AkashaVampie @ElizaMarie this looks super cute. 6mo
ElizaMarie @AkashaVampie it does!!! 6mo
AkashaVampie @ElizaMarie ur welcome sweetie 6mo
22 likes1 stack add3 comments