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monalyisha

monalyisha

Joined January 2017

Head in the clouds, book in my hand, coffee in an I.V. ☁️📖☕️ (R.I. 🌊)
review
monalyisha
What Big Teeth | Rose Szabo
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Pickpick

This book has a low Litsy rating & I understand why. The blurb on the back cover refers to its “otherness,” which is the perfect word to describe it. Much of the story is un-pin-down-able. The time period is unclear. The characters‘ identities, allegiances, & moralities are unclear. It‘s hard to find your footing. And the answers we get by the end aren‘t fully illuminating. There are still pieces I feel confused about. 👇🏻

monalyisha 1/1: But it‘s also a story about extreme loneliness & trying to fill a yawning void inside of you. I found it subtle & complex…& very influenced by some of my gothic faves (like Shirley Jackson; the main character is Eleanor…shout-out!). It‘s all tied up in mythology, too. The reading experience is discomfiting, to be sure, but ultimately (given my genre preferences), I almost felt at home in it. (edited) 1d
GarethSouthwell Sounds intriguing, though - and what a great cover! 1d
monalyisha Note: Some reviewers said they found the characters unlikeable. They *are* monsters. They‘re wounded, & broken, they lash out; I‘m not excusing. I also thought the author did wonderful, layered work in finding their humanity. (edited) 1d
See All 10 Comments
monalyisha @GarethSouthwell Isn‘t it?! 🖤 1d
GarethSouthwell @monalyisha Feels almost like I know the artist - I don't suppose it says on the back cover, does it? (edited) 1d
monalyisha It says “Designed by Aurora Parlagreco” but I don‘t know that “designed by” equates to “illustrated by.” Would have to research. It reminds me of the art in 1d
GarethSouthwell @monalyisha Right, I have it! Yes, Aurora Parlagreco is the designer, and though sometimes this also means they too are the illustrator, in this instance it doesn't. The artist it seems is Corey Brickley: https://coreybrickley.com/ 1d
monalyisha @GarethSouthwell Excellent sleuthing! 💯 1d
GarethSouthwell @monalyisha We did it together! ;)
1d
Palimpsest Great review 1d
68 likes10 comments
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monalyisha
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Oh, look! Someone made an “I drink & I know things” meme just for me. 😅

FlowerFairy Hahaha! Same!!! 🤣 2d
Clare-Dragonfly 😂😂😂 2d
73 likes2 comments
review
monalyisha
Trances of the Blast | Mary Ruefle
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Mehso-so

Many of the poems felt personal to the point of exclusion; I struggled to connect with them. Still, there were some gems. If ever I have a Writer‘s Corner, the following will be on the wall:

“All things written feel a little terrified at first,
...
but making anything you have explored time,
and exploring time you have created the world,
even if it is only a little cairn of broken bricks
at the end of the rainbow.”

For these words, I‘m grateful.

review
monalyisha
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Pickpick

I think Cordova tried to accomplish a bit too much in just one book. I also “wish” the source of the family‘s magic didn‘t come from quite so far afield…but I still enjoyed this magical tale! Perfect for fans of Encanto, The Night Circus, & The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, with themes of family, secrecy, communication, prejudice, mother-daughter relationships, folklore, domestic abuse, & generational trauma.

monalyisha P.S. We went to a local tulip farm to celebrate an early Mother‘s Day this past weekend. They‘re not quite orchids (as would befit the title) but they‘ll do! 2w
Bklover Your tulips are gorgeous!🌷🌷🌷 2w
Kayla.Adriena Omg! They let you pick the tulips? That's my dream! They're beautiful! 2w
74 likes3 comments
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monalyisha
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This is why I live in The Ocean State, & why I seek out the quietest beaches possible. 🌊

review
monalyisha
Not Even Bones | Rebecca Schaeffer
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Pickpick

Looking through reviews, I‘m noticing a common theme…& it‘s one that echoes my exact sentiments: “I‘m surprised by how much I enjoyed this/how good this was!” Honestly, I haven‘t enjoyed a YA book this much in ages. It‘s a (gruesome) story full of complex characters, & complex (& evolving) ethics & morality. It‘s about escaping a traumatic upbringing & about the possibility of healing afterwards. Nothing is (forgive me) “cut & dry.”

75 likes6 stack adds
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monalyisha
Not Even Bones | Rebecca Schaeffer
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Hungry?

Made a snack for my Scare Your Pants Off Book Club for Teens at the Library.

AmyG No. (What is that made out of?) 😬 (edited) 3w
monalyisha @AmyG It‘s peach-flavored! (Jell-O, evaporated milk, food coloring.) 3w
squirrelbrain Ewwww…that‘s amazing! 🤣 3w
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AmyG Yes. It‘s hideous. Yet awesome. 3w
Alfoster Yikes! I love it (but glad I don‘t have to eat it)!❤️😱! 3w
mobill76 I would eat the amygdala. Just to do someone the favor. 3w
Gissy I don‘t know... maybe I pass or try it with eyes closed😳🤣 3w
monalyisha @mobill76 Such a considerate cannibal. 🥰 3w
LeahBergen Love it! 😆 3w
Hooked_on_books If I wasn‘t a vegetarian, I‘d give it a try! 3w
70 likes10 comments
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monalyisha
Everybody Poops! | Justine Avery
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Who else went for a nice walk today? 🌸

Aims42 LOL 😂 3w
79 likes2 comments
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monalyisha
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I‘ve been busy &, therefore, quiet. But…I‘m reading!

These are current reads, plus a book club book I need to start & finish by the end of the month. I *never* read this many books at once. Truly a sign of how scattered & overwhelmed I‘ve been feeling, tbh. I have to figure out which things I need (or want!) to be dedicated to, & which I can allow myself to shrug off. It‘s a season of growth! 🌱

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monalyisha
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“People carry electricity for me; they have a current that surges around my body until I‘m exhausted. It‘s hard to pinpoint what it is, exactly; something about their noise, their unruly movement, the unpredictable demands they make on me. It makes the air feel thick, like humanity has…not a scent, but a texture.”

Karisa I can relate to that especially working at a middleschool waiting for Spring Break. Such a great description! 1mo
47 likes1 comment
blurb
monalyisha
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Taking a big step here & admitting that I‘m not actually reading the tagged. I was supposed to read it for my book club, which met last week, & I just never found the time. I‘ve been sitting on it since then & not reading *anything* because of the shame. 🙈😅 I know better. I swear I do. And yet…

Anyway, my husband took this photo (& a few others) of me recently to use as a headshot on the Staff page of my Library‘s website. It‘s nice! 🌿

rachelsbrittain Great picture! And I've definitely been there with the "didn't read the book i was supposed to" shame ? 1mo
KristiAhlers Awe don‘t feel guilty. Life gets in the way. Sometimes you get into a reading slump. And you‘re beautiful, great picture. 1mo
MatchlessMarie I definitely have a couple books from past buddy reads marked as read on Goodreads because I could never own up to it. I‘ll read them one day I swear lol 1mo
See All 13 Comments
Prairiegirl_reading I do this constantly! I want to read but I don‘t feel like the book club book so I end up not reading. 😞🤦🏻‍♀️ 1mo
Cathythoughts Yes , I hear you ! I feel I have to finish the Bookclub book or I‘m not allowed read anything else 🙄 this has to stop … Gorgeous picture ❤️ 1mo
Amiable Fabulous photo! You look great. 1mo
CarolynM Lovely photo😍 There's no shame in not reading your book club book if you're not feeling it. Move on, I say! 1mo
AmyG What a lovely photo. And it‘s okay to not read your book club book. We‘ve all been there! 1mo
monalyisha Thanks, @rachelsbrittain @KristiAhlers @MatchlessMarie @Prairiegirl_reading @Cathythoughts @Amiable @CarolynM @AmyG Any of you ever felt the meta-shame of feeling shame because you know you‘re supposed to be beyond such pedestrian, limiting feelings — *and* beyond “supposed to‘s”? We readers are very advanced. 😂 (edited) 1mo
Prairiegirl_reading Beating myself up for feeling shame? All the time!! 1mo
AmyG Ha! I‘m with @Prairiegirl_reading. 1mo
marleed Beautiful pic! Bookclubs don‘t earn you a college credit or give an exam. The beauty is that you get to bail without consequence or shame! 1mo
staci.reads I didn't get past the first page of my last book club book. It sounded like a crappy book and I couldn't believe someone chose it. I'm getting too old to waste time on crummy books. I went anyway and drank wine 🍷 1mo
86 likes13 comments
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monalyisha
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I am SO excited for this! What a title! And I *loved* Wintering. 😍🤩

monalyisha Just have to wait who knows how long, given that this is the UK announcement for an indeterminate time in 2023. 😅 https://www.faber.co.uk/journal/faber-acquires-bestselling-author-katherine-may/ 1mo
Sparklemn I loved Wintering, too. Thanks for sharing! 1mo
66 likes2 comments
review
monalyisha
A Little White Shadow | Mary Ruefle
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Mehso-so

I wanted to kick off the rededication of my mornings to poetry with something unassuming & undemanding; I thought white-out poetry/found poetry would do the job nicely. It did…too well, in fact. 😅 I was more ready for more words more quickly than I imagined. While a few of these caught me (p.8, 18, 22, 33), most felt like more like thin gibberish & happenstance rather than careful craft. Still, I imagine creating them was a simple pleasure.

vivastory I really like Ruefle, but this is one of my least favorites. A good erasure poetry collection I recommend is Matthea Harvey's Of Lamb. 1mo
monalyisha @vivastory I have two others of hers I‘m planning to try! Trances of the Blast & Dunce. After I read her poem “Red” (the one that plays off of William Carlos Williams), I knew I had to read more. 😍 Thanks for the erasure poetry rec! 1mo
vivastory I haven't read Dunce, but Trances etc does not disappoint! I hope it works for you. 1mo
62 likes3 comments
review
monalyisha
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Pickpick

American Gods is THE BOOK that kicked off my life of pleasure reading after college. It was recommended to me by the book buyer at the small, indie bookstore where I was employed; I‘d like to think I would‘ve found my way here without her & without Neil Gaiman…but who knows?

This was a reread to prep for getting a tattoo inspired by one of the characters (the goddess Easter/Ostara). It was just as enchanting & multilayered as I remember. 👇🏻

monalyisha Funny story: Though I‘ve read AG a few times now, I‘d never listened to it. I adored this full-cast performance & was so taken with Shadow‘s voice that I researched the actor, fully expecting him to be *smoking* hot 🔥. Daniel Oreskes isn‘t quite the sex symbol I was imagining. 😅 Sometimes, ignorance is bliss. 2mo
monalyisha Also, at the end of this specific audio edition, we‘re treated to a deleted scene in which Shadow meets Jesus. Gaiman says he *almost* put it back in when creating the Author‘s Preferred Text. I‘m glad he didn‘t. 😬 2mo
TheKidUpstairs Loved this book. They filmed some of the series in my town, but I've tried twice now to get into it and I just can't do it... 2mo
See All 8 Comments
monalyisha @TheKidUpstairs I‘ve only tried the show once but I *have* been thinking of trying again. That doesn‘t bode well. 🙈 I also genuinely disliked The Magicians adaptation (& was largely alone in that opinion). The only book + movie pairing I can say I‘ve loved is Practical Magic. 2mo
vivastory I love this review! AG is one of my favorites of all time. I wasn't aware of the bonus scene & it does sound... unnecessary. I plan on buying the annotated edition soon. I like your tattoo idea! I've had an idea for one for a few years & I'm still playing around with some of the elements I want to incorporate, but I have most of the outline the same as it's been for the past few years 2mo
vivastory @TheKidUpstairs That's awesome that they filmed it in your town! I have to admit I was underwhelmed by season 1. I haven't even bothered with the second season 2mo
Clare-Dragonfly Ha, I had a similar experience with John McWhorter, whose face did not live up to his voice for me 😆 I also loved this book, and tried to watch the TV show, but felt it was super excessively violent and gory. 2mo
ponyflorist I only recently read it, thoroughly enjoyed 🙂 2mo
74 likes8 comments
blurb
monalyisha
The Countryman's England | Dorothy Hartley
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Home sick today. My at-home test says it‘s just a standard cold, which is a comfort. A rather intense headache is making reading tricky, though, so I‘m indulging in one of my favorite lazy pleasures: episodes of Escape to the Country.

Dreaming of little, thatched cottages; rolling hillsides, & wading plovers.

vivastory Hope you feel better! 2mo
Cathythoughts Your lazy pleasure looks great. 👍🏻💚 enjoy 2mo
MallenNC Feel better! I love Escape to the Country. 2mo
TheKidUpstairs Love this show. Hope you feel better soon!! 2mo
keithmalek My wife and I watch that. 2mo
61 likes5 comments
review
monalyisha
In Every Generation | Kendare Blake
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Mehso-so

As a *MASSIVE* Buffy fan (I was once the treasurer of an “I Love David Boreanaz” Fan Club; I role-played as Queen C in Buffy chat rooms; later, I wrote my letter of intent to get into grad school *ABOUT* Buffy), I was obviously going to be disappointed by this book. And I was. 😅🙈 More spoiler-laden details in the comments…but suffice it to say that if you‘re going to write a BtVS book, you have to stick to the vampire lore created for the show.

Alfoster So cool you were such a Buffy fan!😝❤️ 2mo
monalyisha 1/4: Here‘s my biggest gripe: too much “Daywalker” bullshit. Spike can exist in the daylight (within boundaries) with a simple spell; the Countess can soak up the sun due to her strict virgin diet. If there are two loopholes (three counting the Ring of Amara), it stands to reason that there could be more — & that Buffy & Angel‘s relationship could have been vastly different. I‘m *very* upset about this. (edited) 2mo
monalyisha 2/4: Also, the way Spike‘s character was represented rubbed me entirely the wrong way. I know he‘s got a soul & blah blah blah…but “Uncle Spike”??? Really?! The familiar adult characters didn‘t feel independent enough. Their voices felt…adequately consistent…but they needed more agency, not just a pedestrian effort to establish them as grown-ups/responsible parental figures. (edited) 2mo
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monalyisha 3/4: Finally: I‘m not sure how I feel about Frankie‘s conception. I want to hate it. I think I kind of do? A gay Immaculate Conception? The Spirit of the First Slayer is her Other Mom? I know Willow invited the spirit to possess her but it still feels like a lack of consent. And speaking of LGBTQ issues, I think to be a modern update to the story, there needed to be better & more representation. (edited) 2mo
monalyisha 4/4: I‘ve always felt a bit like Willow‘s story walked the line of bi-erasure & I genuinely never liked Tara‘s character (though she could be strong, she was often portrayed as a pouty victim)…but Willow being gay was SUCH a big deal, in terms of representation, culture-wise. None of the new Scoobies show any inclination toward diversity, in terms of love & gender. One positive, I guess: I‘m inspired to watch a documentary about Bathory. 🤷‍♀️ (edited) 2mo
monalyisha Note: I recognize that this is not a good review. Far too much passion & not nearly enough finesse. But I‘m basically 13 again (within these pages, & upon reflection when considering them after the fact). Please don‘t expect too much of me. 2mo
Dragon Have to agree with you about Tara - was Anya in the book ? I always enjoyed her character and her inexplicable fear of rabbits 🐇. 2mo
monalyisha @Dragon Tara was my least favorite character. It may have been how she was written, or the way Amber Benson inhabited her role. Part of it might have been because, as a nerdy teen dating a boy in a band, I loved Oz. Maybe I was bitter. Hard to know for sure. Anya wasn‘t in the book! Just Willow, Oz, & Spike. Xander‘s in it, but it‘s just his voice via phone calls. Dawn & Giles are mentioned; they could be in future books. Vi (Felicia Day), too. (edited) 2mo
monalyisha @Dragon Buffy & Faith are mentioned, too, but they (along with Vi, whose niece is one of the new Scoobies) are purported to have died as the result of a bomb explosion (which happens in the first few pages & is in the synopsis). Much doubt is cast upon this fact - but it‘s unclear as to who is left alive. 2mo
Laughterhp I don‘t have any intention to read this, but I loved buffy. This vampire lore seems like she was reading The Vampire Diaries. They can go out in the sun if wearing a ring or something that has magic imbued in it. 2mo
monalyisha @Laughterhp Right. That‘s what the Ring of Amara was in the original show but I‘m sure you recall that it was destroyed. In this, Willow‘s able to cast a spell to allow Spike to be out in the daytime w/in boundaries (so he can be her daughter‘s new Watcher & the School Librarian???). The villain, “The Countess” (Elizabeth Bathory,) is basically invincible (including being able to sunbathe at her leisure) due to her strict diet of virgin blood. 🙄 2mo
Dragon Thanks @monalyisha sounds like a lot of main characters are “killed” off before the book starts 🤔🐉 2mo
monalyisha @Dragon Potentially! 2mo
Dragon 👍😂💚🐉 2mo
LeeRHarry Oh no, well that really is disappointing 😐 2mo
TheKidUpstairs I keep seeing this one at the store, but have been too afraid of disappointment to pick it up. I instinctively distrust anything trying to play around in the Buffyverse. I did enjoy this one though: 2mo
monalyisha @TheKidUpstairs I‘ve missed out on more new Buffy content than I knew! I‘ll admit, though, that I‘ve never read the comics. Maybe I should just go back and do that? 2mo
braddsibbersen No book or comic can quite capture the tone of his shows for some reason. 2mo
60 likes2 stack adds18 comments
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monalyisha
Some Say the Lark | Jennifer Chang
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Getting my Poetry TBR ready for the 1st!

#NationalPoetryMonth

mcctrish Oh I need to do this too 2mo
monalyisha @mcctrish I‘ll be interested to see what you end up with! 2mo
64 likes1 stack add2 comments
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monalyisha
In Every Generation | Kendare Blake
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Much as I‘m inclined to complain about a lot of things in this book (as super-fans are wont to do when something new appears in their fandom), I wont be complaining about this chapter heading. It‘s perfect.

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monalyisha
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I wrote a blog post about #PoemsBeforePhones for work. The idea (which I started way back when, here on Litsy!) is that you read (at least) one poem each morning before reaching for your phone.

Note to self as much as others: Stop doom-scrolling through social media before you‘ve even had a goddamn cup of coffee! Who does that serve???

Here‘s a link to my post, where I recommend some of my favorite collections: https://tinyurl.com/AlyishaPoetry

kspenmoll What a great blog post- thanks for poet recommendations! Love the idea of #PoemsBeforePhones !!! 2mo
monalyisha @kspenmoll Thanks! I‘ve actually been pretty terrible at following my own practice of late, so I‘m using April as a chance to recommit myself. 🌸 2mo
61 likes2 comments
review
monalyisha
Through the Woods | Emily Carroll
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Pickpick

I enjoyed these unsettling short stories in graphic novel format. The ambiguous endings make it the perfect choice for a Teen Book Club. My favorite selection is “The Nesting Place,” which seems to shout the lesson, “If anything can save you, reading can!” I especially liked the darkly twisted allusion to the bedroom from “Goodnight, Moon” in the conclusion. Heavy on the red, black, & blue color palette. Be prepared for sharp teeth & eyelessness.

allureofbeauty I love this one. 2mo
96 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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monalyisha
Letters from Skye | Jessica Brockmole
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Oh! I forgot to say…I (FINALLY) made it to the Post Office today! 😱📬📦

@Amiable @Nute

Amiable @monalyisha I was in Providence last week —I should have just swung by and saved you the postage! 😀 2mo
Nute Exciting news!🤗 2mo
monalyisha @Amiable Hilarious. 😂 2mo
monalyisha @Nute 🎉🎉🎉 2mo
66 likes4 comments
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monalyisha
In Every Generation | Kendare Blake
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It‘s all happening…⚰️

Let the nostalgia commence!

booksellerofyourdiscontent I love the picture, but that iconic “B” makes it perfect! 2mo
LeeRHarry Yes! 👏 2mo
monalyisha @LeeRHarry Thanks again for the heads-up! 2mo
LeeRHarry @monalyisha you‘re welcome ☺️ really hope you enjoy it! 2mo
76 likes1 stack add5 comments
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monalyisha
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My local indie brought this book to my attention. No one‘s posted about it yet so here‘s a blurb:

An idiosyncratic study of American utopian experiments--through the lens of one woman's quest to create a more communal life in a time of unending economic & social precarity. Shirk seeks solace in her community of friends, artists, & theologians. They try to imagine a different kind of life: What might be replicable? What might be doomed?

mklong Oooh, this sounds great! 2mo
monalyisha @mklong Right?! And her first book, too?! Are you kidding me?! So (seemingly) perfect! 2mo
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mklong What?!? That sounds so good too! Thank you for putting her on my radar. Putting some library requests in now! 2mo
monalyisha @mklong SAME. Hopefully, the books live up to our expectations! I know that the one Litsy review that exists isn‘t entirely favorable - but I love when memoir is all bound up in academic pursuits, so I‘ve got high hopes! 2mo
jlhammar I just watched the latest Parnassus Books Laydown Diaries video recommending this one. Sounds good! 2mo
PathfinderNicole Ooh I might have to check that out! There was an utopian experiment in the late 1800s where I grew up so it‘ll be interesting to see if she mentions it! 2mo
Andrea313 Wow, looks like a stunner! Thanks for recommending! 2mo
rmaclean4 @jlhammar love the Parnassus Laydown! 2mo
jlhammar @rmaclean4 Yes! Recent discovery for me. Such great videos! 2mo
72 likes3 stack adds10 comments
review
monalyisha
The Salt Path | Raynor Winn
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Mehso-so

It took Ray & Moth twice as long to hike the South West Coast Path as their guidebook, by Paddy Dillon, said it would. Similarly, it took me at least twice as long to read their story as I hoped. Though I‘m sure the pacing was true to life (as they weren‘t out for a leisurely stroll but walking [in their fifties] as a way to contend with their sudden homelessness & a terminal medical diagnosis), it was slow-going. Sometimes painfully so.👇🏻

monalyisha 1/2: There was far more trudging, and deliberating about what (& how) to eat & where to pitch their tent to wild camp than I expected. Upon further research, I read that this book was never intended for mass consumption; it was written as a way to remind Moth of their journey as his memory faded. This puts the amount & type of details that Ray chose to include into perspective. 2mo
monalyisha 2/2: The Salt Path wasn‘t always a joy to read; it was often a slog. But the moments filled with epiphany, sudden & simple bliss, the kindness of strangers, observations of peregrine falcons, descriptions of windswept cliffs, ruminations on the ethics of our societal & judiciary practices, & the Winn‘s eventual self-identification as “lightly salted blackberries” made it (largely) worth it. 2mo
See All 6 Comments
ChaoticMissAdventures I really appreciated the discussion of how people saw and treated them if they thought they were backpackers vs if they found out they were homeless. 2mo
70 likes6 comments
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monalyisha
The Salt Path | Raynor Winn
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“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread.”
-John Muir

Cathythoughts Nice quote 👌❤️ 2mo
73 likes1 comment
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monalyisha
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I just put a *bunch* of poetry (& poetry-adjacent) books on hold. Tagging the collections below for anyone who‘s interested!

Photo by my good pal, Dave.
(Instagram: @ decent_nature_photography)

52 likes15 comments
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monalyisha
Felicity: Poems | Mary Oliver
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Which new books of poetry should I check out?

I‘m always a sucker for nature poetry.

Looking for beauty & hope (twinned in with whatever else the poet has to offer).

Soubhiville I recently read this and enjoyed it: 2mo
monalyisha Oh, that one‘s on my TBR, actually! Thanks @Soubhiville. 😊 2mo
GondorGirl This is one of my favorites 2mo
JamieArc Have you read David Whyte? I find his poetry full of beauty and hope. The tagged is what I connect with most because I walked the Camino de Santiago, but I‘m not sure you could go wrong with any of his books. 2mo
56 likes4 comments
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monalyisha
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Illustrator Sally Nixon (@ sallustration) posted this drawing of me, today, on her Instagram.

Okay…so, it‘s not actually me. But it might as well be! I love her art so much.

merelybookish I like the bandaid on her knee. 🙂 2mo
BarbaraBB Great graphic! 2mo
75 likes2 comments
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monalyisha
The Salt Path | Raynor Winn
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Here to admit I don‘t always love this book the way that I want to. It can be SLOW GOING. Take the following:

“Charlestown, previously West Polmear, remains a picaresque harbor built, oddly enough, by Charles Rashleigh, who wasn‘t even slightly egotistical & changed the population from 9 lobster-pot-weaving, pipe-whittling fishermen to 3,000 warehouse workers filling cargo ships with clay, quicker than you can say “kaolin poultice anyone?”

WHAT.

Lindy I see what you mean. 😐 2mo
Megabooks Yikes!! 2mo
61 likes2 comments
review
monalyisha
Luster: A Novel | Raven Leilani
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Pickpick

I waited too long to review.

Here‘s what I remember: the prose is captivating & full. I started out thinking I was going to LOVE it…but the weight & unexpected pattern of the sentences lost me partway through, and I ended up just really liking it. It‘s about a young, unsuccessful Black artist who gets involved with a married couple. When she loses her job, she unexpectedly moves in with her lover, his wife, & their adopted, Black daughter.👇🏻

monalyisha 1/2: I liked that it felt modern, & culturally (& pop culturally) relevant. I loved that Rebecca, the wife, totally upends expectations for what you‘d expect a woman in her situation to be like. She‘s sharp, edgy, & kind of dark; she‘s trying, & failing - but that doesn‘t mean that she‘s always (or even often) likable. And, it‘s not really about her. At all! She‘s not even the main character. 😅 (edited) 2mo
monalyisha 2/2: I‘m not trying to center a white woman in a Black woman‘s story. I just found her so deeply strange. Anyway, what this story *is* about is the following: Art, privilege, using people, class, racism, sex, pleasure, casual violence, evolution, & growing up (even - & especially - when you‘re already grown). (edited) 2mo
ChaoticMissAdventures I really enjoyed this one, it is so different from most books I have read. And I thought it was much better than the Queenie which people rave about but there was too much negative drama for me. 2mo
Ruthiella I loved this book too. It was just the right amount of dark and light. I also loved Edie, even when she was self destructing. Can‘t wait to read what Leilani writes next. 2mo
67 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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monalyisha
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OOF. I‘ve been horribly negligent but these ARE (& have been!) wrapped & ready to go. I just have to find some time to get to the post office! 📦🎀

@Amiable @Nute

julieclair Beautiful wrapping! 2mo
julesG 😍😍😍 2mo
Nute So sweetly wrapped!🙂 2mo
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BiblioLitten Spring and confetti! Lovely wrapping 💕 2mo
AmyG So pretty! 2mo
mdm139 For a second there I thought you were sending a bag of sprinkles 😂 2mo
Amiable Those are gorgeously wrapped! My goodness.
2mo
monalyisha @mdm139 So lifelike! 😅 2mo
72 likes10 comments
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monalyisha
The Salt Path | Raynor Winn
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Still reading this. 🙈 @TheKidUpstairs

Also, I‘m finally being tested for allergies (for the first time in my life). Guess what the biggest bump is for?

mdm139 I hope it isn‘t bunny‘s 2mo
julesG Animal hair? Books? 2mo
monalyisha Anya was right (#BtVS)…”it must be bunnies.” 🐇🙈🐇 2mo
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TheKidUpstairs "What's with all the carrots,
What do they need such good eyesight for anyway?" Oh no!
2mo
Sharpeipup I hope it‘s cockroaches…I feel everyone should be allergic to them! 😂🤣😂🤣 2mo
AmyG My first thought was….omg what disease do you have? Then I read your post. 🤣 (edited) 2mo
Clare-Dragonfly Are bunnies a standard part of your allergy test? I went and got a separate test just for them. Luckily for me, I wasn‘t allergic! 😬 2mo
monalyisha @Clare-Dragonfly They were! Dogs (which I‘m also apparently highly allergic to & am devastated about it; it‘s a new allergy & dogs were (are?) definitely in our future), cats, rabbits, horses, guinea pigs, cockroaches ( @Sharpeipup, that one made me giggle too 😅); molds, dust mites, trees, grass, etc. 2mo
54 likes8 comments
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monalyisha
Luster: A Novel | Raven Leilani
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“I am not good at parties…It is a foregone conclusion I will once or twice hurt someone‘s feelings deeply because of something I say or a face I make, which I will of course think about when I ride the train home, and actually, forever, even though I tried to be merry and keep the conversation light, even thought I can‘t sleep and I can‘t shit, and someone is dying but that one song tells you to slide to the left and you have no choice.”

monalyisha Pictured: my nephew, yesterday, at his first birthday party. He very much liked his cake. He did not very much like everyone singing at him. Same, kid. Same. 2mo
squirrelbrain Bless him! He looked like he LOVED his cake! 🎂 2mo
Dragon So cute !🎂 2mo
Soubhiville Precious! 2mo
Simona So adorable❣️ 2mo
61 likes5 comments
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monalyisha
Rhode Island Beer: Ocean State History on Tap | Ashleigh Bennett, Kristie Martin
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Because the two people at the heart of The Salt Path (current read) are broke, they‘re constantly hungry and thinking about food. Therefore, there are many passages devoted to “chips.” As such, I took a break from reading & went out for beer & fries. 🙈

It‘s been a lazy few days for me, reading-wise (& otherwise, tbh).

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monalyisha
Ol' Mama Squirrel | David Ezra Stein
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Bonus pic for @Clare-Dragonfly 🐿

See? Squirrels are perched prettily atop their branches. But birds & mushrooms are partying in The Upside Down. 🌀

SRWCF Is that a real bunny??? (Please say yes.) 3mo
monalyisha @SRWCF I know her level of cuteness is unreal. 😅 But yes. She‘s our pet rabbit. Her name is Moxie. She‘s 9. 3mo
SRWCF @monalyisha Ohhhh, what a little sweetheart! Hi, Moxie! 👋 3mo
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Clare-Dragonfly Thank you! 😂 I see the dilemma! 3mo
rabbitprincess 😍😍😍 3mo
ShelleyBooksie What a beautiful tapestry and a beautiful bunny 3mo
79 likes6 comments
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monalyisha
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I don‘t know if anyone else follows the Instagram account @ parkingonthewildside …but Moxie & I do.

We ordered their tapestry back in November & it finally arrived this past week! We may not have a camper van (yet). But we‘re still living the dream in our small way. 🍃🚌🌸

#rabbitsoflitsy

RaeLovesToRead Aww, Moxie 💕 Such a cute bunny! 3mo
Smrloomis Wow! 😍😍😍 3mo
MeganAnn Beautiful! 😍 3mo
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RaeLovesToRead (Sorry, I meant to say I love the tapestry too, but got distracted by the bunny 😁❤) 3mo
Librariana Moxie has phenomenal taste! 🥰 3mo
monalyisha @Librariana Oh, she tastes a lot! Counting down the days ‘til I find her chewing on the edges of the tapestry, tbh. 😅🙈 3mo
Librariana @monalyisha Lol ? I guess I should've considered that Moxie could most certainly have a different idea when it came to 'taste' ? I can almost picture her saying "Oh Mum, it was *just* a nibble!" (And she'd totally say "mum" rather than "mom". She fancy!) 3mo
monalyisha @Librariana She typically goes for “MA(h)” with a Massachusetts accent. Or “Maw” (since everything goes in her mouth). She‘s got ‘tude. But she ~can~ be fancy when she wants to be. 😉 3mo
Librariana @monalyisha Why am I suddenly having visions of Stewie Griffin going "Mom! Mummy! Momma! Ma!..." ?? She sounds adorable! 3mo
Chelsea.Poole Love everything in this photo 🐰 3mo
Clare-Dragonfly Moxie is so beautiful and so is the tapestry! But… um… is the tapestry upside-down? 3mo
monalyisha @Clare-Dragonfly Ha! So…maybe? We‘re not sure. 😅 Either way you hold it, *something* is upside down. You can‘t see the top of it, but we put it this way because the squirrels on the top are right-side-up. Either the birds or the squirrels get topsy-turvy. It was a lengthy discussion. 😂 (edited) 3mo
ilovetoread Moxie is so cute 🥰 3mo
rabbitprincess *boop* 3mo
braddsibbersen OMG that bunny! I rely on Instagram for my bunny fix... pleasantly surprised to come across such a beautiful girl here! 3mo
monalyisha @braddsibbersen It seems we‘ve got some “Things” in common! Went to your page to find a Cthulhu post right off the bat; I lived in Providence, RI for a long time (now, we‘re in a tiny town right outside the city) & my husband was in a metal band for awhile that put out a Cthulhu-themed album. Bet we could be friends in real-life! 3mo
braddsibbersen Cthulhu themed album, eh? You should check out the band "Darkest of the Hillside Thickets". Cumbersome name, but wonderfully catchy rock tunes, mostly about Lovecraft! 3mo
monalyisha @braddsibbersen Thanks! I‘ll pass it along. 😉 3mo
95 likes18 comments
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monalyisha
The Salt Path | Raynor Winn
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I strayed from The Salt Path to get some work-reading done…but I‘m back now, reading about clawdds (top) & “curzy way” or “crinkle crankle” walls.

@TheKidUpstairs #buddyread

ravenlee Those look so cool! 3mo
Bookwormjillk My neighbor has one of those walls on the bottom. Now I know the name for it 👍 3mo
TJAhearne Love these! 3mo
monalyisha @Bookwormjillk I‘m jealous! 😍 3mo
LiseWorks Those are awesome 3mo
81 likes5 comments
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monalyisha
All These Bodies | Kendare Blake
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Mehso-so

Not at all what I was expecting. This YA murder mystery, with a Criminal Minds meets SVU vibe, is more about the Horror(s) that people are capable of when they‘ve been hurt than it is about jump scares or supernatural beings. Though it‘s true that vampires have always been about power & sexual politics (which is why it was so thrilling that the first vampire featured on Buffy was female…but I digress). A slow read with some style issues.👇🏻

monalyisha 1/2: I‘ve never read Kendare Blake before…& I wasn‘t bowled over. This felt pretty dry with a lot more telling than showing. I also wonder about the choice to only write from a male character‘s POV when part of the problem *is* the male gaze. Does Blake‘s authorial choice help to drive the point home? Or, is it a cop out to maintain the mystery? (edited) 3mo
monalyisha 2/2: I appreciated Marie‘s insistence that *she* be the one to decide which parts of her story were important and which weren‘t, & Blake‘s overall focus on the dangers of womanhood (both as victim and perpetrator). Her message about the public‘s limited imagination (when it comes to gender & other, equally fictitious topics) is a strong one. (edited) 3mo
Librariana Very interesting thoughts and valid points! It sounded like it had a promising premise/setup with the Criminal Minds/SVU vibes. Shame it didn't quite deliver. 3mo
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LeeRHarry I read this author‘s Three Dark Crowns series and loved it but was definitely underwhelmed by this one. The author is bringing out a book based on the Buffyverse, later this year I think. (edited) 3mo
monalyisha @LeeRHarry Doing my very level best not to respond to your news in all caps with all manner of punctuation marks. I will say a very calm & poised: thank you very much for this information. 3mo
monalyisha @LeeRHarry Who am I kidding? WHAAAATTTT?!?! HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS?!?!?! 3mo
LeeRHarry @monalyisha 🤣🤣 3mo
LeeRHarry It‘s actually out already so… 3mo
Clare-Dragonfly Hmm, I loved this author‘s first book but was very disappointed by the sequel. This sounds super up my alley, though! 3mo
monalyisha @LeeRHarry Oh, I saw. Believe me, I googled that so fast! 😅 It took everything I had not to run out & buy it today, abandoning everything else I‘m currently reading in the process. I hope it‘s not terrible! 🤞🏻 3mo
71 likes10 comments
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monalyisha
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How many points do I get if I recently messaged my first great love, who I haven‘t seen in over 12 years, to recommend a book to him (tagged)? It wasn‘t personal. Just business. 😂

I honestly didn‘t realize it was remotely weird until I‘d already sent the communique. Personally, I think I should get more points for this than for “Recommended a book to a complete stranger.” I take this Reader‘s Advisory stuff pretty seriously. 😜🙈

BethM All of them minus calling in sick and tattooing. 3mo
monalyisha @BethM YES! 🙌🏻 💯 I think the items listed are *mostly* standard operating procedure for us Littens. 😉 I meant it as more of a prompt to share the extremist lengths to which I recently went. The calling in sick one really hurts my Capricorn sensibilities, haha. 3mo
Sharpeipup 20…is that good? 😉 3mo
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melissajayne Done 15 of them 3mo
aperfectmjk No tattoos... 20 it is. 3mo
RebL Almost all, but not all. I won't say which. 3mo
Zuhkeeyah 20! My aversion to writing in books is strong. 3mo
ozma.of.oz 20, but I‘ve got two book tattoos planned. So 20 for now! 😉 3mo
GondorGirl @Zuhkeeyah the same 20 here, too! 3mo
Hooked_on_books Do you get extra points for the ones you do daily? 😂 3mo
CarolynM That is truly dedication to the cause! Well done you👏 3mo
jenniferS 17! 3mo
49 likes12 comments
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monalyisha
All These Bodies | Kendare Blake
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Did I host the first meeting of our new, horror-themed book club for teens at the Library today? I did.

Did anyone come? They did not. 🙈

But hey, they missed out on a lively (or undead?) discussion about serial killers & gender, a thrilling video by Ask a Mortician‘s Caitlin Doughty about New England‘s *very real* “Vampire Panic,” blood-filled (ok…Cherry Cordial-flavored) Hershey‘s Kisses, & a newspaper flower craft. I was READY to…slay.

Brooke_H Oh noooo! Maybe they‘ll come next time… 3mo
RamsFan1963 I would have come, sounds like a great time and I'm not even that into horror. 3mo
readordierachel Oh bummer, that sounds awesome! 3mo
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Bklover I‘d have been there! 3mo
StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego That's too bad, that sounds like an awesome book club. 3mo
Amiable I don‘t even read horror and that sounds like an amazing discussion! 3mo
Blh87 I would have FOR SURE been there. That is amazing. 3mo
BiblioLitten I would have been there! So cool 😎 3mo
56 likes8 comments
review
monalyisha
Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World | Ashley Herring Blake
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Pickpick

I read this LGBTQ MG novel about self-discovery, overcoming tragedy & experiencing your first crush for a book club I‘m leading at the Library. It‘s nominated for a Massachusetts Children‘s Book Award & is my current pick to win.

It‘s so tender & vulnerable, full of art, family, insecurity, bravery & love. Ivy loses her journal, filled with secret drawings, in the aftermath of a tornado that takes her home. But she finds a new sense of belonging.

63 likes3 stack adds
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monalyisha
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I submitted 3 literary tattoo designs to an artist whose books opened yesterday! One is inspired by American Gods; the goddess Easter has forget-me-nots tattooed around her left wrist. Another, Harold and the Purple Crayon. It would be a pie with a purple jam smear & a crayon crescent moon. The third comes from my love of the ocean, & a color essay entitled, “Glaucous, the Greeny Blue of Epic Poetry and Succulents” by Katy Kelleher for The Awl.

monalyisha Getting a tattoo appointment feels like a super competitive market right now, so who knows if I‘ll even get a response…but I‘d love all three of these! 3mo
BookwormAHN Good luck 🍀 3mo
TheKidUpstairs Gorgeous! I hope you get an appointment soon! 3mo
64 likes3 comments
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monalyisha
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Pickpick

All Boys Aren‘t Blue is both a memoir & a manifesto. Its tone is both academic & intensely personal. It‘s a lot of things all at once — which makes total sense, given the subject matter (and the nature of humanity)! Specifically, it‘s about growing up queer & black in America - as a middle-class person with a loving & supportive family (not a narrative we hear often). Though it feels crummy to say, I didn‘t think I was going to like it at first.👇

monalyisha 1/2: The writing is conversational & needs sharper editing (the word “though” is vastly overused). Johnson‘s vocal performance is also a bit stumbling. I settled in, however, & I think their goal is accomplished: providing a (sometimes embarrassing) candid & honest account of life for people who are often ignored. The chapter “Losing My Virginity Twice,” which includes an impassioned call for better — & inclusive! — sex ed in America, is vital. (edited) 3mo
monalyisha 2/2: Johnson shines a light on the very real damage that can be (and IS) done by leaving kids ignorant and concurrently teaching them shame. There‘s so much hurt (physical & mental) that doesn‘t need to happen, and Johnson leaves us feeling that we can all do better - and that it‘s reasonable to work for change, and to hope. (edited) 3mo
monalyisha This was another #NYWD22 pick from @TheKidUpstairs 💗💙 3mo
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Bookzombie This is an excellent review! 3mo
TheKidUpstairs I really liked the conversational tone, but I was reading rather than listening so I wonder if that made a difference? I'm glad you were able to settle in to it. I really appreciated how they didn't shy away from the pain and hurt in their story, or their own naivete in so many situations, but the overall tone was one of love. Their grandma was such a force for love. 3mo
monalyisha @TheKidUpstairs Having just finished Will Smith‘s memoir, it was startling to me how many quirky similarities there were! Same sort of middle-class upbringing, same formative relationship with his grandma (both of which touched my heart; I was also very close with my grandmother), even the same penchant for cowboy boots when all of his siblings were picking out fresh new sneakers! 3mo
TheKidUpstairs @monalyisha that's so interesting! I've got Will on my TBR, for when I'm up for a chunkster bio! Both born to stand out, by the sounds of it. 3mo
shanaqui Hmmm, thanks for the review! I've been wondering about reading this. 3mo
79 likes2 stack adds8 comments
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monalyisha
The Salt Path | Raynor Winn
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Large disconnect between my reading and my reality right now. 🙈

Also, feeling a bit like Medusa. 🐍

BkClubCare Woot! 💄💇‍♀️💅🐍✨ 3mo
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monalyisha
The Salt Path | Raynor Winn
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“I had heather and salt air in my veins and flew with the gulls.”

Becker Lovely 3mo
kspenmoll 💜💚❤️ 3mo
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monalyisha
The Salt Path | Raynor Winn
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Raise your hand if you‘re easily tempted into wanderlust-filled daydreams by descriptions of tiny churches. 🖐🏻

This is Culbone Church, reputed to be the smallest church in England & definitely one of the most remote. You‘ve got to come at it by foot, 1.5 miles, uphill. The woods surrounding it are filled with fairytale tunnels & are home to the rare, self-cloning, Sorbus vexans trees. It was once the site of a leper colony.

squirrelbrain Loved this book! 3mo
TheKidUpstairs 🙋‍♀️🙋‍♀️🙋‍♀️🙋‍♀️ 3mo
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monalyisha @squirrelbrain It was a #NYWD pick from @SingOut that I discovered via my matching duties. It‘s pretty devastating thus far…but I suspect it becomes far more hopeful & inspiring as time goes on! 3mo
Soubhiville I love the idea of hiking to a secluded place like this. I‘ve got this on my TBR. Maybe I‘ll get to it soon? 3mo
monalyisha Me too, @Soubhiville! Walking the entirety of the path sounds pretty grueling but I‘m not totally ruling it out yet! I also need to read more about the Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage in Spain. 3mo
JamieArc @monalyisha My experience with this was hiking an extra mile or two off the Camino de Santiago to find a church with interesting sculptures. It was certainly a journey that left many treasures in my memory storehouse. 3mo
Nute Yes, please! Ancient small churches, isolation, surrounding green forest, worn out footpaths and an old cemetery. I say, ‘yes.‘ 3mo
Cathythoughts I‘m raising my hand ✋ Yes 💫 3mo
AllDebooks Looks very gothic, I'm in 🙌 3mo
Clare-Dragonfly Ummmmm yes please 🤩🤩🤩 3mo
TheKidUpstairs Some of my favourite memories are hiking memories. This book is definitely making me itch for a long trek! 3mo
Singout I did a teeny tiny part of the path when I was in my mid-30s: the part that goes from St. Ives to Penzance. So beautiful, historic, and interesting, although hard on the knees. 3mo
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monalyisha
Applesauce Weather | Helen Frost
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We got a rare day of sunshine before more snow tomorrow! Taking full advantage.

kspenmoll We did too! Spring fever!!! 3mo
Alfoster And it‘s 84 here in San Diego!😝 3mo
monalyisha @Alfoster Perhaps we should arrange one of those house-switch situations. 😜 3mo
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monalyisha @kspenmoll Wasn‘t it so nice?! I love/hate days like today. Such a tease! 3mo
Alfoster @monalyisha I was born in Minnesota so I‘ve had enough snow (but it would be fun)!😝 3mo
Laughterhp It was so nice today. Tomorrow is going to be miserable. Especially with everything freezing! 3mo
Cathythoughts Looks lovely where you are ! 3mo
86 likes7 comments
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monalyisha
The Salt Path | Raynor Winn
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Up next!
Buddy read with @TheKidUpstairs

review
monalyisha
The Marriage Game | Sara Desai
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Pickpick

Hated the beginning. Loved the ending. Shortest review I‘ve ever written. Very hungry after reading all about goat curry, masala dosas, garlic fries, donuts, & Dungeness crab sandwiches. Must acquire nourishment ASAP. No time to waste.

…Although, I‘ll need to change out of my PJ‘s & put real clothes on first. 😅 Love a lazy Saturday morning.

monalyisha *Book teetered between a “Pick” & a “So-So” rating for me…but I‘m feeling generous after the delightful conclusion. (edited) 3mo
BethM Those slippers 😍 3mo
monalyisha @BethM Thanks! I call them my “clown slippers.” They‘re so soft & cozy. 💗 3mo
80 likes3 comments
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monalyisha
New Year, New You | Steve Pacer
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Announcing the winners (plural) of the #NYWD22 Giveaway (I couldn‘t choose just one 🙈): @Nute & @Amiable 🎉! Kimberley, you win for your excellent post about Territory of Light & for being a wonderful daughter; Amy, I don‘t know how you read a book about a pandemic (The Pull of the Stars) while being a hospital-worker during one…but you deserve (more than) a free book. 💞

You can each choose one of my favorite books of 2021 (pictured above)!

monalyisha @Nute & @Amiable Be sure to email me your (US) addresses, as well as the title of the book you choose! It‘s monalitsy at gmail dot com. 😊 If you want to read more about any of the books, I‘ll be tagging them in the comments. (edited) 3mo
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Bookzombie Congratulations @Nute and @Amiable ! 🙂 @monalyisha Thank you again for hosting! 🍪🍪🍪 3mo
squirrelbrain Congratulations @Nute @Amiable ! 🎉🎉🎉 3mo
TheAromaofBooks Yay!! Congratulations @Nute and @Amiable !!! And thank you so much for hosting @monalyisha - this is such a thoughtful way to bring readers together!! 3mo
Amiable Oh my gosh! A prize of a free book just for reading! I love this place. Thank you! 3mo
Kdgordon88 Congrats! @Nute @Amiable 🎉 3mo
Nute I discovered this post while at work and there is all kinds of excitement in my office right now. Modestly expressed but not without hand clapping, wide grinning and happy dancing around my desk chair. Thank you, Alyisha! What a very kind and generous thing to do. And the books to choose from…so many wonderful titles!🤗 How will I ever make a decision? I will email you with my selection within the next few days. Thanks again! 3mo
Nute Congratulations, Amy ( @Amiable ) 3mo
Amiable @Nute You too, Kimberly! What a delicious surprise for a Monday! 🙂 3mo
Nute Email sent today! Thanks again, Alyisha!☺️ 3mo
monalyisha @Amiable @Nute I‘ve received both of your selections! Thanks for being such gracious winners. I‘ll let you know when I receive your books & when I send them out! ✨ 3mo
98 likes20 comments