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rachelk

rachelk

Joined January 2018

My reading buddy is a pooch. 🐶 I‘m ready to go when there‘s a coffee ☕️ in my hand and a book 📖 in my bag. 👜
review
rachelk
Ethan Frome | Edith Wharton
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Set in a small, fictional town during the early 1900‘s, Ethan Frome is a man seemingly trapped by unfortunate circumstances into a life very different from the one he wanted. The book is short, beautifully written, romantic and tragic.

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rachelk
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This story takes place in a not so distant dystopian future, told from the pov of an intelligent but naïve robot, Klara, that cares for and makes sacrifices for a child. The book gives you a lot to think about —transactional relationships, ethics, love, loneliness, humanity and our future. I loved this book but I did wish there had been more about the world beyond Klara.

Q84 I was surprised that I enjoyed this. Not something I would usually pick up. 4d
rachelk @Q84 I‘m glad you enjoyed it. This is the third book I‘ve read by Ishiguro and I think it‘s safe to say I‘m a fan. 4d
Q84 I‘ll have to check out some of the others. 2d
41 likes4 comments
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rachelk
If It Bleeds | Stephen King
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Four good, creepy (not scary) and very different novellas. ‘Mr. Harrigan's Phone‘ (now on Netflix) struck me as spooky YA. ‘The Life of Chuck‘ was fascinatingly experimental and my personal favorite. ‘If It Bleeds‘ is especially fun for King fans as beloved character Holly Gibney returns as the main character. The final story, ‘Rat‘ gives us King writing fiction about someone writing fiction, which I love.

36 likes2 stack adds
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rachelk
If You Want to Write | Brenda Ueland
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“During his life he (Van Gogh) made only 109 dollars in all on his paintings. They are now worth about two million dollars.” — Brenda Ueland, 1938

‘The Starry Night‘ alone is worth well over 100 million dollars now, but the point Ueland makes is that true creative impulse (which she believes we all have) comes from passion, enthusiasm, love and a need to express something sincerely — not the desire to impress others or be rewarded.

BarbaraBB Yesterday I visited a Klimt exhibition in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. There was a painting by Klimt which Oprah bought for 80 million dollars and a few years later sold for 160 million…. 😱 3w
rachelk @BarbaraBB Wow! I‘ve read that Warren Buffet doesn‘t believe in investing in art as a financial strategy, but I wonder if something like that might give him pause?! 🤯 3w
DivineDiana Fascinating and @BarbaraBB Fascinating! 3w
See All 8 Comments
BarbaraBB For Oprah it did work obviously 😂 I don‘t know if it‘s true but I was told this story by the curator of the exhibition, so I guess it is. So much money!! As if she needed to sell it 😱 @DivineDiana 3w
rachelk @BarbaraBB Seems like everything she touches turns to gold! @DivineDiana Fascinating indeed! 3w
DivineDiana @BarbaraBB It is true according to Artnet. How fabulous that you were able to visit the Van Gogh Exhibit! https://news.artnet.com/market/oprah-sells-famed-gustav-klimt-portrait-150-milli... (edited) 3w
BarbaraBB @DivineDiana I live nearby so it‘s easy for me! Thanks for the research, glad to know it‘s true! 3w
DivineDiana @BarbaraBB How nice! You‘re welcome! ❤️ 3w
41 likes1 stack add8 comments
review
rachelk
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Dr. Dispenza proposes that his meditations can activate genes that recondition the mind and body to greatness. A couple of caveats: 1) While he draws on scientific study, it can get a little woo-woo. 2) The meditations are explained but if you want to listen to them, the price isn‘t included with purchase of the book. That said, I think he‘s on to something but I also suspect it involves a lifetime of practice for most people.

DivineDiana I had never heard of Joe Dispenza… until last night! While dining out with friends, one couple talked about going to Denver to see him speak. And here he is again! 3w
rachelk @DivineDiana Oh wow! I‘d say that‘s a funny coincidence but Dr. Dispenza calls coincidence a breadcrumb from the divine… 3w
zezeki I have this book on my TBR for so long! 3w
See All 9 Comments
DivineDiana I like that‘ “a breadcrumb from the divine”. Stacked! ❤️ 3w
rachelk @DivineDiana @zezeki If you guys do read/practice this I‘d be interested to know what experience you have 3w
DivineDiana I will gladly share with you! 3w
zezeki I'd love to share it as well, I hope to read it early next year. 3w
rachelk @zezeki Sounds good! :) 3w
37 likes1 stack add9 comments
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rachelk
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This 1940‘s coming of age story is considered a landmark in gay literature. It‘s well written, sparse, sophisticated and solemn. Vidal edited and updated this book in the 1960‘s, even changing the ending (the version I read) which is widely thought to be an improvement. I was also interested to learn that the character of Maria was based on his long time friend Anais Nin.

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rachelk
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The moment was strange.

#FirstLineFridays @ShyBookOwl

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rachelk
Moonflower Murders | Anthony Horowitz
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A quote from this book doubles as the perfect review, “There's something very satisfying about a complicated whodunnit that actually makes sense…” Indeed. ‘Moonflower Murders‘ is a very smart, satisfying, well plotted ‘book within a book‘ mystery that should appeal to fans of Agatha Christie. This is the follow up to ‘Magpie Murders‘ and there are recurring characters.

51 likes1 stack add
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rachelk
Things in Jars | Jess Kidd
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I loved the quirky characters in this gothic detective story as well as the depiction of 1800‘s London and the way Kidd blended fact with fiction, reality with fantasy. I wasn‘t bothered by the creepy, gruesome elements (though I wouldn‘t read it while eating lunch). However, I did occasionally find myself losing the thread of the story and wishing the writing was tightened up a bit. Still, I enjoyed it.

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rachelk
Unknown Book 7535597 | Unknown Unknown
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Ruthiella 😂😂😂 1mo
35 likes1 comment
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rachelk
I'm Glad My Mom Died | Jennette McCurdy
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When my daughter was young we watched iCarly together and Sam (McCurdy) was our favorite. To hear now what her real life was like (an abusive mother, a vile Nickelodeon boss, eating disorders, alcoholism, troubling romantic relationships, etc.) is horrifying. Thankfully, McCurdy emerged a brave, decisive woman and unflinching writer with an intact sense of humor. You don‘t need to know who she is to find this impactful.

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rachelk
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This horror story mixed with Japanese folklore is so eerily evocative and beautifully written it feels like poetry, but after awhile it‘s almost too much alliteration, individually excellent but taken together it‘s a lot. That said, I did enjoy this creepy novella with the premise of a small destination wedding in a haunted mansion.

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rachelk
The Patient | Jasper DeWitt
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Not to be confused with ‘The Silent Patient‘ this novel is cleverly told from the perspective of a young psychiatrist through a series of online posts. The story itself is fairly simple but sufficiently creepy.

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rachelk
Untitled | Unknown
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Clwojick Awesome list! 2mo
35 likes1 comment
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rachelk
The Turn of the Screw | Henry James
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Mehso-so

For me this wasn‘t a horror story so much as a psychological character study of the protagonist. However, it is told in such a way that where I see a disturbed mind, someone else might see ghosts. I admire the ability of James to keep the suspense up but it was awfully verbose for a novella.

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rachelk
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Panpan

I liked the idea of this haunted house story a lot but between the clichés, underdeveloped characters and breaking the rule show don‘t tell, I just can‘t pick this one.

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rachelk
Indignation | Philip Roth
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Marcus, a bright but intense young man leaves home to attend a conservative college in 1951 while fears of the Korean War loom large. Marcus is required (against his beliefs) to attend church services as part of curriculum, becomes entangled with a troubled young woman and has unpleasant dealings with several male students as well as the Dean. Roth packs shocking, ironic, comedic and tragic into one short, engrossing and thought provoking novel.

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rachelk
F Is for Fabuloso | Marie G. Lee
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#manicmonday #letterf @CBee

📖 Fahrenheit 451, Furiously Happy, Fates & Furies
🖊 Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Fielding
🎥 Fargo, Fight Club, Ferris Bueller‘s Day Off
🎸 Foo Fighters, Freddie Mercury, Fall Out Boy
🎤 Falling (Harry Styles), Fade Into You (Mazzy Star), 💥 Fade Into Black (Metallica)

CBee Thanks for playing! 😊 3mo
37 likes1 comment
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rachelk
Vera: A Novel | Carol Edgarian
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I really enjoyed this coming of age story (set in 1906 during The Great San Francisco Earthquake) with an interesting cast of characters, a well researched historical setting and evocative writing. Although the title character seemed a bit mature for a 15 year old and the ending felt slightly rushed, overall it was well worth reading.

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rachelk
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Isabel Wilkerson‘s ‘Caste‘ belongs alongside Michelle Alexander‘s ‘The New Jim Crow‘ as a must-read for North American people grappling to understand our history and how it continues to impact us today.

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rachelk
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This 1938 book that was nearly lost to us (don‘t skip the preface) reads like the best, snappy, rom-com of the era. When a mistake transports a dowdy governess into a world of glamour, witty repartee, makeovers, society, nightclubs, charming friends, romance, a bad guy and more, she discovers what it means to live. As with most older literature there are a few racist and sexist bits. I enjoyed the story while being glad for progress.

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rachelk
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Crime and surrounding mystery test friendships of close knit college students at an elite arts conservatory. The novel is a bit dark academia, a bit ‘The Secret History‘ and a bit Shakespearean — with many quotes. I enjoyed this book but didn‘t love it as much as the aforementioned novel that Donna Tartt published in 1992.

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rachelk
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What kind of nightmare scenarios were writers coming up with in 2020? ‘Leave the World Behind‘ for one. This modern story mixes family dynamics, race and social class with a slowly creeping sense of dread. At times the writing was bit pretentious but the story was intriguing and third person omniscient insights were perfect. Read if you‘re in the mood for something unnerving.

This is currently in production as a Netflix movie.

mcctrish This kind of horror is just a bit too close to home. I did really enjoy this 4mo
rachelk @mcctrish I can definitely see that 4mo
Cathythoughts Great review! I really enjoyed this one. 👍🏻 4mo
rachelk @Cathythoughts Thank you! 🙂 4mo
49 likes4 comments
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rachelk
My Life in France | Julia Child, Alex Prud'homme
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Child is so charming that you can‘t help but enjoy spending time with her on a journey to late 1940‘s early 1950‘s France where she finds her true calling. The book reminded me that the political climate of her day (McCarthyism) was awful too. It also reminded me that everyone starts somewhere…and that I‘d love to make something delicious from one of her famous cookbooks. Bon Appétit!

AmyG This book was a surprise for me….how much I enjoyed it. 4mo
rachelk @AmyG That‘s exactly how I felt! 4mo
40 likes1 stack add2 comments
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rachelk
Happy-Go-Lucky | David Sedaris
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Did David Sedaris write funny essays during political turbulence, a pandemic and after the death of his father? Yes. Not as funny as say, “Me Talk Pretty One Day” but worthwhile. I wanted to know his take on everything and I was thrilled to get it. The only caveat is that if you‘re not already a fan you should probably start with his earlier essays and get to know him first.

Megabooks Agree with all of this. Much darker humor. 5mo
rachelk @Megabooks Yes. I think this set of essays finds him in an (understandably) darker, grumpier place than we‘ve seen him before. As a long time fan, I love him but I can see why this might not appeal to everyone. 5mo
rachelk @Megabooks After I said it might not appeal to everyone I saw that as of now it‘s at 95% on Litsy with a 4.27 rating on Goodreads 5mo
42 likes3 comments
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rachelk
Joy For Beginners | Erica Bauermeister
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Mehso-so

This was a pleasant novel about a circle of lovely, supportive friends. Each chapter focuses on a different woman from the group confronting her own special challenge. It was a bit contrived but it was a nice break from difficult reads, news and life.

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rachelk
Untitled | Unknown
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I‘m feeling indecisive about what my next June read should be, so I‘ll leave it to @TheAromaofBooks #BookSpin 😎

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 6mo
37 likes1 comment
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rachelk
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Dr. van der Kolk is not only a ground breaking researcher with decades of experience both studying trauma and working with trauma patients, he also comes across as a kind and compassionate person. While the subject is difficult, the second half of the book offers hope and innovative ways to heal beyond traditional talk therapy and medication. ❤️

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rachelk
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🌸 At the 40% mark I‘d give ‘The Body Keeps Score‘ four stars. It‘s a fairly depressing nonfiction book about trauma but well researched and likely helpful.

🌼 So far my favorite book this year has been ‘The Tsar of Love and Techno‘ by Anthony Marra. I think he‘s absolutely brilliant.

🌺 I‘m grateful for my sweet family.

Sorry I‘m late! #wondrouswednesday @Yuki_Onna @Eggs

Yuki_Onna Beautiful answers, Rachel! 🌸🌺 6mo
Eggs Lovely post💕!! And thanks for joining in 👏🏻👏🏻 6mo
27 likes2 comments
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rachelk
Woman No. 17 | Edan Lepucki
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Even though I didn‘t particularly like these characters I was invested in the story and really enjoyed the dark humor. The chapters are narrated by ‘Lady‘ (a rich woman that recently kicked out her husband) and ‘S‘ (her secretive live in nanny). The questions the author examines about motherhood, identity, performance and art are really interesting but more than that, I just wanted to know what would happen next.

rachelk P.S. I don‘t understand why the book blurb calls this a “sinister, sexy noir”. It‘s not at all. 6mo
35 likes1 comment
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rachelk
Duplicate Keys | Jane Smiley
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‘Duplicate Keys‘ is a who done it character study of friends, with a bit of thriller at the end. While I enjoyed the story, motivations didn‘t seem very realistic, nor did the (mostly unexplored) music scene. I did appreciate descriptions of early 80‘s life in NYC, including dinner prices and salaries ($30 take out dinner for five is expensive, a 17,000 salary is enough to live alone in a nice apartment). This was probably a 3-3.5 star for me.

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rachelk
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In this unusual work of fiction (not really short stories, not a traditional novel) interconnecting characters and stories spanning 75 years explore bonds of family and political hardships in an ever changing Russia. Marra‘s incredible writing has been compared to Tolstoy. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Ruthiella I loved this one too. ❤️ 7mo
rachelk @Ruthiella Now I need to go back and read his book 7mo
41 likes1 stack add2 comments
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rachelk
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“I am an artist first, a censor second.”

Running a little late on this but I was reading it last night as well. I think it‘s about to be my first 5 star read of the year.

#FirstLineFridays @ShyBookOwl

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rachelk
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This is Mayte Garcia‘s life story that Prince was part of for 11 years. It seems Garcia tried to put him in a positive light when possible, but I doubt anyone reading will wish they‘d been married to him. It‘s a fascinating (but not salacious) autobiography.

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rachelk
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In this short novel Anne Brontë drew on her personal experiences as a governess. Her descriptions of the young people in her care (and their awful parents) are relatable 175 years later. The novel includes a cautionary tale and a love story. The plain but virtuous heroine, Agnes Grey, seems a bit of a precursor to her sister Charlotte‘s better known Jane Eyre. The narration here is straight forward, witty and a bit snarky, which I liked.

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rachelk
Of Love and Other Demons | Gabriel Garcia Marquez
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Mehso-so

This short, often humorous, complex and dramatic story told simply takes you to eighteenth-century South America where a twelve year old girl is mistakenly thought to be possessed. Unfortunately I didn‘t connect with the story or characters and found the love between this girl and a middle aged man disgusting. It‘s well written and I can understand why it‘s highly rated, but it just wasn‘t for me.

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rachelk
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Biss writes short, smart chapters that ask basic questions about capitalism while offering insight into everything from social class to Scooby-Doo. I really enjoyed this book. #nonfiction

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rachelk
Me (Moth) | Amber McBride
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This stunning YA novel is a debut for Amber McBride.

A teenaged girl, Moth, is mourning the loss of her family when she meets a teenaged boy, Sani, searching for his place in the world. Their sweet love story and shared interest in African and Native American religious traditions is beautifully written in verse.

The ending is unforgettable. I loved this on audio but I‘m thinking about getting the book and reading it with my eyes too.

Addison_Reads Great review! I loved this one. 9mo
rachelk @Addison_Reads Thank you! This was a rare book for me in that I immediately knew I‘d want to read it again. 9mo
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rachelk
The Water Dancer: A Novel | Ta-Nehisi Coates
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I was curious about this novel as Ta-Nehisi Coates is primarily known for his award winning nonfiction. Here, Coates uses both historical fiction and magical realism to tell a harrowing and very original story of slavery in America. There‘s a lot to keep up with but I loved the gorgeous writing and unexpected adventure.

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rachelk
The Nineties: A Book | Chuck Klosterman
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This is a great book for anyone interested in recent (mostly U.S.) history. If you remember this decade it feels incredibly nostalgic and if you don‘t, it‘s very informative. While the book is entertaining, I thought it was a bit more serious than the cover implies. #nonfiction

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rachelk
My Monticello: Fiction | Jocelyn Nicole Johnson
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This book is comprised of five phenomenal short stories followed by the novella that it‘s titled for. ‘My Monticello‘ explores racism in a way that feels both dystopian and very much of the moment — all juxtaposed against the problematic history/hypocrisy of Thomas Jefferson. This is really good writing, the fact that it‘s Johnson‘s debut makes it all the more impressive.

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rachelk
Before We Visit the Goddess: A Novel | Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
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Shifting timelines between India and the United States reveal the lives of a grandmother, mother and daughter — each longing for love and belonging but also independence. The misunderstandings and inability to connect with each other are heartbreaking. This is a well written and deeply affecting story of mothers and daughters.

Reggie I love Chitra. She has some great short story collections and her Sister of My Heart is one of my top ten books of my life. 9mo
rachelk @Reggie Thanks for the recommendation! I just added it to my tbr. 9mo
jlhammar I loved this book! 9mo
See All 6 Comments
rachelk @jlhammar Yes! Her writing is so powerful. 9mo
Pinta Chitra has such an amazing ear for dialogue—she warned me that friends and fam are always on the alert because they‘ve learned how well she listens! 9mo
rachelk @Pinta Oh that‘s interesting! I bet they are on alert! 9mo
49 likes2 stack adds6 comments
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rachelk
The Paris Library: A Novel | Janet Skeslien Charles
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Mehso-so

This historical fiction novel moves between the story of Odile at The American Library in Paris during WWll and a lonely teenaged girl in Montana during the 1980s. While I loved reading about real life book- saving heroes and in some ways identified with the main characters, I did feel the story was a bit rushed. In terms of WWll novels set in France, I preferred ‘The Nightingale‘.

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rachelk
What I Know For Sure | Oprah Winfrey
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This 2014 book is a collection of Winfrey‘s best “O Magazine” essays from her column, ‘What I Know For Sure‘. The audio version is beautifully read by Oprah in her soothing, conversational voice. I think if you like her and you‘re open to the inspirational and spiritual, but not necessarily new or ground breaking, you‘ll enjoy this.

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rachelk
Oh William!: A Novel | Elizabeth Strout
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Oh Elizabeth! Why is this so good? Lucy Barton, an introspective 60-something writer reflects on life and particularly on her ex, William. This novel is so honest, intimate and realistic it feels like having a long, deep conversation with a beloved aunt. There were two previous books about Lucy, but I hadn‘t read either and it didn‘t matter. Strout is an incredible creator of characters and wonderful story teller.

Simona I especially agree with you about last sentence! 10mo
rachelk @Simona I‘ve only read a couple of her books but I really enjoy her style. I‘m sure I‘ll add more Strout to the tbr mountain. 10mo
rachaich She's awesome 😍. You and I have very similar reading lists and views 😊😊😊 10mo
rachelk @rachaich and I think similar names 😁 10mo
rachaich @rachelk 😁😁 10mo
56 likes5 comments
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rachelk
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This imaginative, genre bending novel is part love story (not necessarily romantic), part thriller, part drama and part science fiction. It does require patience to get to the big reveal and can be a bit repetitive but I mostly enjoyed the ride, it made me feel like I was going through multiple lives with endearing, memorable characters.

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rachelk
HIDDEN VALLEY ROAD. | ROBERT. KOLKER
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This nonfiction book moves back and forth between the history of mental illness, medical case studies, scientific research and big pharma to the biographical story of The Galvin Family and their twelve children — half of whom become diagnosed with schizophrenia. Kolker used hundreds of hours of documented interviews to write this fascinating, heart wrenching and well organized book. Trigger warning: sexual abuse, violence, suicide.

Simona This book is on my TBR list since it was published … 10mo
rachelk @Simona It‘s really interesting but pretty heavy. I think you have to be in the right mood for it. (edited) 10mo
52 likes2 comments
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rachelk
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I couldn‘t put down this compelling and surprisingly hopeful story. It had originally been written as a screenplay about the experiences of Lale Sokolov at The Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp. I think some criticism of this book has to do with the fact that it still feels a bit like a screenplay — somewhat rushed as a novel, breaking the rule of ‘show don‘t tell‘. Still, it‘s an extraordinary, moving story well worth reading.

pr.alm One of my favorite books! The worst and the best of humanity in one book! 10mo
rachelk @pr.alm So true. I‘ve heard that the follow up book is excellent 10mo
51 likes1 stack add2 comments
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rachelk
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This character driven family saga takes us through multiple locations on land and sea with excellent prose, thought provoking storylines and a stoic look at poverty in America…with just a bit of mysticism.

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rachelk
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This much anticipated second volume of diary entries did not disappoint. I love the humor of David Sedaris and his latest book was the perfect way to end the year, as I knew it would be. 🙂