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underground_bks

underground_bks

Joined October 2017

Co-owner of a cozy used, new, rare & antiquarian bookshop in Carrollton, Georgia ✨📚🐈 Find me at Instagram.com/underground_bks
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underground_bks
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Gruesome fairy tale meets novel of manners! Inspired by the Grimm Brothers‘ “Goose Girl,” Kingfisher depicts the horror of the power parents wield over their progeny—here pitting an evil sorceress (and one absolutely horrifying horse) against her own awkward, earnest daughter and the canny spinster sister of the rich nobleman she‘s bewitched. In this grisly, horror-tinged fantasy, a lovable found family and a fantastic middle-aged heroine await!

24 likes1 stack add
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underground_bks
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Cheryl Strayed‘s Wild meets Diana Melmuth‘s The Witching Year in this messy but endearingly earnest travel memoir. While grieving her father, writer Signe Pike rambles primarily across England, Ireland, and Scotland, seeking out stories and first-hand accounts of faeries, visiting faery landmarks and sacred places, and reckoning with a devoted but angry father she loved but never understood. Slow and not fully satisfying, but worth the read!

CaliforniaCay This is such a creative picture! 🤩 1w
Ruthiella Great photo! 👍 1w
Hooked_on_books Oooo, good pic! 1w
The_Book_Ninja 📸🤣 7d
34 likes4 comments
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underground_bks
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This richly imagined and cleverly-plotted historical fantasy follows a young servant forced to keep her Jewish heritage a secret during the Spanish Inquisition whose mistress discovers her magical powers and demands she use them to advance their fortunes in a high-stakes contest to become the King‘s miracle-worker. I did struggle to get into it due to the slow pace…and I felt the characters and romance weren‘t fully fleshed out. Still worthwhile!

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underground_bks
The Bright Sword | Lev Grossman
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This epic, ambitious, yet tenderly human Arthurian retelling begins with an aspiring knight who arrives at Camelot only to find the legendary King dead, Merlin buried alive by his protégée, and a mere handful of Round Table heroes hanging on—and they need to save a Britain torn between fated past and changing future, old gods and new. I loved the rich exploration of religion, self-acceptance, and found family across the diverse cast of characters.

Pruzy Oh wow, so excited to see Lev Grossman is back 1mo
27 likes4 stack adds1 comment
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underground_bks
Funny Story | Emily Henry
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Jilted opposites attract in this gentle, emotionally resonant romance from Emily Henry. As well as I thought of this book while reading it, I didn‘t find myself giggling and kicking my feet, which is my sign of a favorite rom-com. I think Emily Henry just doesn‘t make me laugh, but I do find her characters‘ struggles moving and realistic and I can totally see why she‘s so many readers‘ favorite romance writer today.

CoffeeAndABook Looking forward to this one ☺️ 1mo
30 likes1 comment
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underground_bks
Compound Fracture | Andrew Joseph White
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AJW has taken us to: an eco-Christofascist apocalypse, a Victorian asylum full of spirits and mediums, and now an Appalachia haunted by blood feuds and class war. This is his most unputdownable book yet, a bloody tour-de-force, mining and queering West Virginia‘s buried socialist history, with a lovable, neurodivergent, rage-fueled transboy at the center and a whole lot of gore all around him. Prepare to be hurt, haunted, and ultimately heartened.

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underground_bks
The Art of Running | Andrea Marcolongo
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Mehso-so

A renowned classicist takes up running, turning to her Ancient Greek guides to learn about this simple, yet challenging, popular, yet often miserable sport. This reminded me of Murakami‘s memoir—which the author quotes and which I didn‘t enjoy; I‘d recommend for fans of it. I don‘t share either author‘s reasons for running—discipline, fear of death. I prefer books that emphasize running as fun and welcoming, like Slow AF Run Club or Born to Run.

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underground_bks
What Feasts at Night | T Kingfisher
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Alex Easton returns, this time to their family‘s neglected hunting lodge, where death comes quietly at night to suck the very breath from your lungs. What Feasts at Night has all the darkly humorous, thrillingly gothic, and deliciously folkloric horror we know and love from its predecessor What Moves the Dead. I just enjoy Alex, Angus, and Miss Potter so much, I‘d follow them into any creepy corner of Gallacia! Read for the #TransRightsReadathon!

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underground_bks
Long Way Down | Jason Reynolds
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Boyz n the Hood meets A Christmas Carol in this powerful and moving young adult novel in verse about a young man contemplating his response, revenge, and “the rules” his brother, just killed in a shooting, taught him. Our bookstore is helping a local teacher give away 60 copies of this book to his students for summer reading!

Suet624 Boyz and Carol - great description. Reynolds is terrific. 2mo
TheLudicReader Such a great book. 2mo
29 likes2 comments
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underground_bks
Not in Love | Ali Hazelwood
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Ali Hazelwood writes my favorite rom-coms. I count on her for making me giggle and kick my lil feet while two people fall for each other despite each other. I‘m not the first to say her novels tend to be similar, but I‘d argue this one departs in major ways, particularly tone. While I enjoyed the science-set plot as always, and I think this will appeal to Emily Henry girlies, its angst made me miss the FUN I always have while reading Hazelwood.

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underground_bks
One Dark Window | Rachel Gillig
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This popular gothic fantasy has some killer cards to play, with a unique card-based magic system, a steamy enemies-to-lovers romance, and a fantastically sinister monster living inside our heroine‘s head. While the YA/New Adult prose didn‘t always work for me and the first half is very slow to start, the world-building and plot made up for it. That said, I think I‘ll wait till October to read the sequel for all the spooky gothic vibes.

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underground_bks
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A 9 year old named Violet came into the bookstore to celebrate her birthday and, when she saw my dragon t-shirt, recommended me this middle grades graphic novel about a young Chinese-American girl who‘s gifted a dragon egg! While I didn‘t love the representation of scientists or the emphasis on blood, I was blown away by the action, plot twists, stunning art, and lovable characters—Nate the dragon enthusiastically included!

Ruthiella What a cute story! Recommendations from a 9 year old. 😃 2mo
26 likes1 comment
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underground_bks
The Fireborne Blade | Charlotte Bond
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If you want to get lost in a labyrinthine dragon‘s lair full of phantoms, dark magic, treachery, and worse—The Fireborne Blade is yours for the wielding. While I predict many readers will lament the low page count‘s limitations when it comes to character depth and foreshadowing, this clever, gory novella shines in bringing the bloody and claustrophobic reality of a dragon‘s den to life, with badass, sapphic characters doing the daredeviling.

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underground_bks
Bug Boys | Laura Knetzger
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I picked up a blind date from BBGB Kids Books, and inside was this middle grades graphic novel about two bug besties, a rhino and stag beetle, and their adventures both outside—spelunking, climbing, meeting spider librarians—and internal—facing the existential, feeling your feelings, friendship. It gets surreal, which at times confused me, but remains grounded by very humanist, compassionate values, which makes me recommend for fans of K. O‘Neill.

RaeLovesToRead I feel I need this. SOLD! 2mo
underground_bks @RaeLovesToRead yay!! Please buy it from an indie bookstore!! 2mo
27 likes2 comments
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underground_bks
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This memoir astonished and altered me. Coming of age as an American Sikh in the aftermath of 9/11, Valarie Kaur‘s dedication to making a difference and her extraordinary courage in the face of hate crimes, police brutality, and sexual assault are made only more remarkable by her resilient compassion toward those who‘d harm her. Read this if you believe a better world takes both courage and kindness and you‘d like to become more of both.

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underground_bks
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If you‘d dare to immerse yourself in a light academia fantasy under the sea, you won‘t discover one more enchanting and earnest in equal measure than this epistolary debut! A Letter to the Luminous Deep is lush, romantic, and mysterious, unique, queer, and neurodivergent, and bubbling over with the magic of discovery—whether scientific, world-changing, or tenderly personal. Highly recommended for fans of Emily Wilde‘s Encyclopaedia of Faeries!

currentlyreadinginCO I just got this arc off of NetGalley and I'm jealous of your physical copy! 2mo
underground_bks @currentlyreadinginCO 🙈 I got it signed by the author at our annual national bookselling conference 🙈 2mo
currentlyreadinginCO oh now I'm super jealous 😂😂 2mo
33 likes5 stack adds3 comments
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underground_bks
Sweet Berries | C. M. Nascosta
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A marketing and events manager for a countryside farm finds herself swept off her feet by a bumbling Mothman scientist in this monster romance set in C. M. Nascosta‘s Cambric Creek. The spice here was not only super hot, but super fascinating! Worth reading just for that, but unfortunately I felt we didn‘t learn enough about Merrick‘s past and I was shocked that the ending didn‘t include any pushback about Grace basically asking him to assimilate.

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underground_bks
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It‘s not every day a business book has us gasping, screaming, cheering, and laughing! Unreasonable Hospitality is part business memoir, part leadership manifesto, a mix of hospitality and humanism, management and magic. Guidara took a NYC restaurant from struggling to #1 in the world; here he shares the lessons he learned in those 11 years. This book makes you feel like you‘re part of that team and will leave you nourished and full of ideas!

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underground_bks
12 Rules for Strife | Jeff Sparrow, Sam Wallman
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This visual guide to a life of effective activism is dramatically illustrated and punchily-written. While the chapter on recognizing your enemies felt too simple for me, much of this brief book made a big impression on me. These will stay with me a long time: the rejection of “smug politics” and how direct action doesn‘t just change the world, it changes the activist—developing talents, increasing confidence, challenging prejudices, and more.

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underground_bks
Girls Weekend | C M Nascosta
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Three elf coworkers venture out on a hedonistic vacation at a nudist resort full of orcs in this fast-paced and spicy novella set not long before C. M. Nascosta‘s hir Morning Glory Milking Farm. The fast pace and multi-POV meant I didn‘t always catch on immediately to which elf was the lead each time, and I didn‘t have as much time to connect with each one, but this was still a good time—and I‘m enjoying just being in the Cambric Creek universe!

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underground_bks
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This sequel to the mind-bending Eastern European dark academia fantasy Vita Nostra is a bit of a slog, but I was glad for the chance to immerse myself again in the world of Sasha Samokhina, the Institute of Special Technologies, and the Great Speech. There really is no stranger linguistic magic system or higher philosophical stakes than in this series—I‘m hoping this installment just suffered from Middle Book Syndrome.

BookBr Ohhhh I LOVED Vita Nostra, so this is disappointing 😣 3mo
underground_bks @BookBr here‘s hoping we get a third book that‘s as amazing as the first! 3mo
26 likes2 comments
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underground_bks
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This pocket-size book takes just an hour or two to read, structurally spans a day and a night, but holds half a century‘s wisdom about bookselling. Paul Yamazaki has been the principal book buyer at Lawrence Ferlinghetti‘s iconic City Lights bookstore in San Francisco for 50 years. This brief but complex and consequential collection of interviews with a venerable bookseller of color who‘s experienced so much is a gift to all who love bookstores.

Leftcoastzen Wow! Heard it‘s coming! I‘ve met him a few times years ago, great guy & buyer. 3mo
underground_bks @Leftcoastzen it‘s a lovely read—he was present at our annual conference of the American Booksellers Association this month! 3mo
Leftcoastzen Cool ! 3mo
27 likes1 stack add3 comments
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underground_bks
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What does our worship (or opposite) of Taylor Swift have to do with the Halo Effect? What does AI mean for our love of tactile work aka the IKEA Effect? In these essays on cognitive biases in our modern age, Cultish author Amanda Montell pulls together memoir, cultural criticism, and social science and blazes new neural pathways to identifying and understanding these “mental magic tricks” we pull on ourselves, to lively, accessible effect.

30 likes3 stack adds
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underground_bks
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She‘s a nonprofit grad with student loan debt and no job prospects, he‘s a Minotaur…What else do you need to know? Violet takes a job at a medical facility where Minotaurs donate their “milk” for money, think plasma center…but not. Enter Rourke, a divorced businessman who yeah happens to be a Minotaur—and really likes her work ethic! This monster romance is, yes, absolutely filthy, and yet so wholesome at the same time?! I read all 24oz in one go!

27 likes1 stack add
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underground_bks
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From the Head of TED comes this persuasive, practical treatise on maximizing the impact of generosity, whether that gift comes out of your wallet or your time, attention, and skill. I know a book is worth a read when it leads to such grappling, considering, arguing, inspiration, and action. Giving can be joyful, effective, and infectious—this is for anyone who has ever felt confused about where or how much to give, who wants to make a difference.

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underground_bks
Cascade Failure | L. M. Sagas
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Mehso-so

While I can verify the comparisons to Becky Chambers and the MurderBot Diaries, and have to say this series-starter is definitely action-packed and big-hearted, something didn‘t work for me…I seemed to misread the characters and at one point was sure a polycule was in the works? These relationships so crucial to the success of this story were unclear to me, and I didn‘t feel like I got to know our main characters well enough to really love them.

Leftcoastzen 😻 3mo
33 likes1 comment
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underground_bks
Vita Nostra | Sergey Dyachenko, Marina Dyachenko
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Dark academia—but make it Eastern European! Welcome to the Institute of Special Technologies…Now enrolling fans of mysterious schools, linguistic magic systems, dark and ambitious speculative fiction, and over-achieving FMCs. This is one of the few English translations of Ukrainian sci-fi masters the Dyachenkos, championed by The Magicians‘ Lev Grossman. If brutal academies and arcane systems of magic speak to you, this is required reading!

37 likes2 stack adds
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underground_bks
The Spellshop | Sarah Beth Durst
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Baked with love, like a jam-filled pastry, for fans of Legends & Lattes, this cozy, affirming fantasy follows a librarian and her trusty sentient spider plant, forced from the Capitol by a revolution against the magic-hoarding empire back to the island of her birth—where she discovers what makes a place a home and people family, a sweet romance with a merhorse herder, the magical, radical act of sharing knowledge—and the power of raspberry jam.

BookmarkTavern That sounds lovely! 4mo
Michael_Gee I want to live in that cover. 4mo
TieDyeDude Sounds cute. Gorgeous cover! 4mo
underground_bks @Michael_Gee the author does an incredible job of making you feel like you are! 4mo
27 likes4 stack adds4 comments
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underground_bks
The Burning God | R. F. Kuang
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The Poppy War trilogy is a masterpiece and a modern classic of military fantasy—and every book will leave you in awe and in pain. Follow Fang Runin from poor scholar to powerful shaman, from war orphan to war criminal, as she takes vengeance on the rulers who‘ve abused her, on a war path inspired by the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Chinese Civil War, and delve into war and trauma, rage and revolution, in detail not only horrific, but historic.

IuliaC Lovely photo! 4mo
KateReadsYA I've had these on my tbr for a while and this post makes me want to pick them up immediately. 🤩 4mo
dabbe 🖤🐾🐾🖤 4mo
underground_bks @KateReadsYA it‘s so worth the pain, but get some fluffy comfort books lined up for afterward! 4mo
34 likes4 comments
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underground_bks
Do Your Worst | Rosie Danan
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This rom-com set in a ancient Scottish castle between a curse breaker trying to make a name for herself and an archaeologist trying to get his career back on track, at odds with each other, is a fun listen on audiobook (thank you to Libro.fm for the free copy!). I‘m not sure how much I‘ll remember, but it was a much-needed easy listening experience.

ShyBookOwl Curses?! I'm in. Always looking for vaguely spooky rom coms for light reading 4mo
underground_bks @ShyBookOwl ancient sexy curses! 4mo
ShyBookOwl @underground_bks sounds really fun! 4mo
31 likes3 stack adds3 comments
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underground_bks
Tress of the Emerald Sea | Brandon Sanderson
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This cozy, clever, quirky fantasy lives up to its inspiration—what if in The Princess Bride, Buttercup was the one who went after Westley? In the course of attempting to save her noble true love from the evil Sorceress, a window washer runs away from home, dares life and death at sea, joins a dangerous crew, & unlearns a whole lot about people pleasing, taking charge, and accepting help. A delightful, surprising, heartwarming adventure of a book!

27 likes1 stack add
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underground_bks
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Mehso-so

While there‘s much to love about this book—its strong sense of place, its vast, lovable, diverse, and very human cast of characters, and its central message about community amid difference—religion, race, ability, class—I found it too structurally scattered to enjoy uninterruptedly and the author‘s descriptions of women‘s bodies (the number of times boobs and angelic singing occur smh) distracting to put it lightly.

33 likes1 stack add
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underground_bks
The Magic Fish | Trung Le Nguyen
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Through luminous and enchanting fairy tale retellings, the young American-born Tiến connects with his mother, who emigrated from Vietnam, as he struggles to come out to her. What a thoroughly enchanting, quietly moving, and engagingly beautiful tale, touching on so many aspects of the queer and immigrant experiences in such powerful and transformative ways!

Kenyazero What a beautiful way to describe this outstanding book! 4mo
underground_bks @Kenyazero thank you! 🥰 4mo
31 likes2 comments
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underground_bks
Be Our Guest: Perfecting the art of customer service | The Disney Institute, Theodore Kinni
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This felt more like a book-length ad for Disney corporate than a guide to improving customer service, but I found the suggestions about company culture and regional cultures as well as staff support, value, and space to be off-stage so to speak all very validating. The chapter I got the most out of was considering your physical (and digital) space as a form of customer service.

iread2much When I was in hospitals, they sent our higher up‘s to Disney to learn about their work culture, and while I was a lowly new manager, I did appreciate some of what they brought back (but not that they sent the directors for a super cool Disney vacation and not all us managers 😅) 4mo
underground_bks @iread2much one of the best stories in the book is about a nonprofit hospital and the changes they made after attending the Disney Institute! 4mo
iread2much @underground_bks OMG, that‘s probably my old hospital! To be fair, it was the best hospital I worked at, and one of the best jobs I‘ve worked at period, and it did get better after they went to Disney 😂 4mo
underground_bks @iread2much now I feel bad for giving it a so-so! It‘s a pick now 😅😂 (edited) 4mo
19 likes4 comments
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underground_bks
Tress of the Emerald Sea | Brandon Sanderson
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“…Empathy is an emotional loss leader. It pays for itself eventually.”

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underground_bks
The Dragon Republic | R. F. Kuang
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A cozy spot for a book that‘s anything but…
The last 50 pages had me absolutely breathless! I was more immersed and engaged in this sequel than with The Poppy War because I really didn‘t know what was coming next. Dark, intense, and heroless as always, but a masterpiece of military and historical fantasy.

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underground_bks
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Get in, loser, we‘re getting delighted! In this second collection of micro essays on what delights poet Ross Gay in a day, you‘ll find all the hope and humor, the awkward and the oddness of being human, touched on here with such a grand tenderness that you can‘t help but leave a little more open-hearted to the world lying in wait, ready to delight you, all around.

BkClubCare Yes yes yes 5mo
32 likes1 stack add1 comment
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underground_bks
Poverty, by America | Matthew Desmond
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This direct and accessible study of American™️ brand poverty presents a clear, comprehensive, and compassionate dissection of the structural forces at work against the poor and for the rich. I really appreciated how powerfully and pragmatically Desmond destigmatizes poverty and that he provides policies that could bring about lasting change as well as ways to vote with your dollars for greater economic equality.

32 likes1 stack add
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underground_bks
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A brief break from reading The Poppy War trilogy for the latest installment in this big, warm, soft hug of a series! Nick and Charlie contemplate the next step in their relationship, while Nick looks at unis and Charlie faces opportunities at school in several forms. Lovely, affirming, sweet, real, and cozy as always!

32 likes1 stack add
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underground_bks
Lovelight Farms | B. K. Borison
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I managed to fit in another holiday romance on audio before Christmas! Fake dating, best friends to lovers, all on a mysteriously sabotaged Christmas tree farm, this was a quick, easy, and festive read—though a little forgettable, and I wish it were a little more Christmassy!

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underground_bks
Whalefall: A Novel | Daniel Kraus
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A teen finds himself in the belly of a whale when diving for his estranged father‘s remains in this intense science thriller and extended meditation on fathers, sons, and the life-saving legacy that lives on in us long after those we‘ve lost. As someone who lost an estranged parent as a teen, it was hard for this book to gain my trust—and it did in the bigger picture, but not in the finer details. Still, a thrilling and moving read.

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underground_bks
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Everything you‘ve heard about this brutal achievement of an epic fantasy is true—it‘s grim, dark, and will leave you gutted. Inspired by the events of the Second Sino-Japanese War, the most ghastly aspects of The Poppy War are horrific because they‘re based in historical truth. Through following Rin from child to student to soldier to shaman, R. F. Kuang graphically demonstrates the evils of imperialism and war, as well as rage and vengeance.

Leftcoastzen 😻 5mo
dabbe Hello th, sweet kitty! 🖤🐾🖤 5mo
DimeryRene I love this series. I‘m rereading it now and am almost done with book two. So so brutal. 💔💔 5mo
35 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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underground_bks
Minor Detail | Adania Shibli
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You may have heard of this book because it was set to receive the 2023 LiBeraturpreis Award at the Frankfurt Book Fair but its ceremony was controversially cancelled in the wake of the October 7th Hamas attack on Israel. This subtly written yet searing novella powerfully demonstrates the horrors of the Palestinian experience and the violence colonialism inflicts not only marginalized bodies, but on history, geography, and memory.

DimeryRene Love to see folks reading this. 🇵🇸 5mo
breadnroses 🇵🇸❤️✌️ 5mo
20 likes2 comments
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underground_bks
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What do you do when the world threatens your belief that all beings are worthy of love? Here, Kai Cheng Thom, a Chinese Canadian transwoman, writes to reclaim her love of being human through tender, intense letters to: former johns, J. K. Rowling, Jesus Christ, fellow trans femmes, “the church of social justice,” compulsive caregivers, & more, each followed by an action, my favorite being to send a poetry book to someone you‘d rather see punished.

everlocalwest I loved this one too! 💙💙 5mo
underground_bks @everlocalwest you know it‘s a good sign when every single review on its Litsy page is by someone you already follow! 5mo
28 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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underground_bks
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This was my first time reading a holiday romance, and it was a jolly af good time! Melody and Beat must get their estranged moms to reunite their beloved rock duo for a million dollar payout—all on live TV that ends up being as obsessed with the romance between Melody and Beat as they are with any rhythm or rhyme. Much steamier than it is Christmasy, I‘d recommend for any rom-com fan looking for just a little festivity with all their smut ☺️🎄❄️

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underground_bks
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This compassionate and welcoming collection of advice on creativity and the creative process is the work of music producer Rick Rubin. I struggled to stay focused listening to the audiobook because it is so meditative rather than narrative, and for that reason I feel I got more out of Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert but this would be an inspiring read for anyone interested in a more fulfilling creative life.

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underground_bks
On a Sunbeam | Tillie Walden
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This beautifully imagined, queer sci-fi graphic novel follows MC Mia in two timelines, in her early teens & as a new adult, through a complex universe of only female and nonbinary characters. The blurbs from Becky Chambers, Martha Wells, & Brian K. Vaughan hyped me up maybe too much…On a Sunbeam is gorgeously rendered, impressively told, and gently moving…but the lack of the warmth and humor I expected based on those blurbs left me a little cold.

27 likes2 stack adds
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underground_bks
Flamer | Mike Curato
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When I saw this graphic novel was not only the 4th most banned and challenged book in the country in 2022, but also effectively banned in nearby Marietta this year, I had to read it for myself. Flamer tells the semi-autobiographical story of a Boy Scout struggling with homophobia, racism, and fatphobia during his last week of camp before high school. Moving, vividly told, and deeply compassionate, this is an important story to have on our shelves.

CaitlinR I don‘t envy you the climate you‘re in, but I‘m glad you‘re fighting the good fight. 6mo
TieDyeDude So pathetic. While news like this hurts, I'm glad that successful attempts to ban books are, so far, few and far between. 6mo
underground_bks @CaitlinR some inspiration: our bookstore is in the rural college town of Carrollton—and our Pride had over 1500 attendees this year! 6mo
underground_bks @TieDyeDude we have a year-round banned books display in our bookstore! 6mo
29 likes4 comments
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underground_bks
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The dangerous and delightful adventures of curmudgeonly faery scholar Emily Wilde, her Grim dog Shadow, and her otherworldly colleague (and aspiring fiancé) Wendell continue in the Alps and ~elsewhere~ in this sequel to Encyclopedia of Faeries! I just have such a good time following on the Oxford clad heels of this cozy yet prickly light academia fantasy series—alongside all the friends Emily always ends up finding (if slightly against her will).

BooksNBowls Def one of my favorites!! 6mo
29 likes1 stack add1 comment
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underground_bks
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I‘ve long been a fan of Robin Wall Kimmerer‘s Braiding Sweetgrass—as well as Elizabeth Gilbert‘s The Signature of All Things, inspired by Gathering Moss—so it was high time to enjoy this natural & cultural history of mosses! This is a lovely way to gain an appreciation for these rich, resilient, important works of nature—though to be honest, the highlight for me was her consultation at a wealthy estate where they‘re doing everything wrong.

23 likes1 stack add