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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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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 😣 3d
underground_bks @BookBr here‘s hoping we get a third book that‘s as amazing as the first! 3d
24 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. 5d
underground_bks @Leftcoastzen it‘s a lovely read—he was present at our annual conference of the American Booksellers Association this month! 5d
Leftcoastzen Cool ! 5d
25 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.

28 likes2 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!

26 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 😻 3w
32 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! 1mo
Michael_Gee I want to live in that cover. 1mo
TieDyeDude Sounds cute. Gorgeous cover! 1mo
underground_bks @Michael_Gee the author does an incredible job of making you feel like you are! 1mo
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! 1mo
KateReadsYA I've had these on my tbr for a while and this post makes me want to pick them up immediately. 🤩 1mo
dabbe 🖤🐾🐾🖤 1mo
underground_bks @KateReadsYA it‘s so worth the pain, but get some fluffy comfort books lined up for afterward! 1mo
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 1mo
underground_bks @ShyBookOwl ancient sexy curses! 1mo
ShyBookOwl @underground_bks sounds really fun! 1mo
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!

26 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! 2mo
underground_bks @Kenyazero thank you! 🥰 2mo
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 😅) 2mo
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! 2mo
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 😂 2mo
underground_bks @iread2much now I feel bad for giving it a so-so! It‘s a pick now 😅😂 (edited) 2mo
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 2mo
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 😻 2mo
dabbe Hello th, sweet kitty! 🖤🐾🖤 2mo
DimeryRene I love this series. I‘m rereading it now and am almost done with book two. So so brutal. 💔💔 2mo
34 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. 🇵🇸 2mo
breadnroses 🇵🇸❤️✌️ 2mo
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! 💙💙 3mo
underground_bks @everlocalwest you know it‘s a good sign when every single review on its Litsy page is by someone you already follow! 3mo
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. 3mo
TieDyeDude So pathetic. While news like this hurts, I'm glad that successful attempts to ban books are, so far, few and far between. 3mo
underground_bks @CaitlinR some inspiration: our bookstore is in the rural college town of Carrollton—and our Pride had over 1500 attendees this year! 3mo
underground_bks @TieDyeDude we have a year-round banned books display in our bookstore! 3mo
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!! 3mo
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
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underground_bks
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By facing her own doppelgänger, leftist activist Naomi Klein explores the absurdity, inversion, & surreality of our cultural and political moment, offering piercing perspectives on self-branding, conspiracy theories, climate change, the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, & more. Sprawling, funny, intellectually invigorating, & disturbing in equal measure—if you get lost following Klein in the mirror world, you‘ll end with your feet on more solid ground.

34 likes2 stack adds
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underground_bks
Bride | Ali Hazelwood
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One thing about me: I‘ll devour anything Ali Hazelwood has on offer, and as a sci-fi/fantasy reader, I was enthralled by her debut paranormal romance! Can an arranged marriage turn into fated mates between a lone vampire and her Alpha were husband? This giddily scentsual, deeply knotty romance had me by the throat, all the while licking my chops from a satisfying backdrop of fantasy world building, political intrigue, and mystery.

ChaoticMissAdventures I just downloaded this one! Glad to see you liked it! 4mo
underground_bks @ChaoticMissAdventures I have never met an Ali Hazelwood book I didn‘t love tbh! 4mo
32 likes1 stack add2 comments
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underground_bks
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If slow and deadly is your poison, pick up this sumptuous, gothic fairy tale. Chokshi‘s flowery prose hides teeth, claws, and a dark heart bloody with not only the fairy tales we tell each other and the secrets we keep from ourselves, but the wild reckless hope of being loved when the truth‘s laid bare. This was darker than I expected and reminded me of Addie LaRue in its romance and pacing, which isn‘t a great thing for me but others might love!

Kristy_K Great review! 4mo
underground_bks @Kristy_K thank you so much! It‘s challenging when you really respect a book but it wasn‘t quite for you but you still want to do it justice! 4mo
39 likes2 comments
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underground_bks
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Through warm interviews with booksellers and interesting case studies of 12 bookstores, co-owner of The Raven Book Store Danny Caine captures the joys and challenges of bookselling, which, as a bookstore owner, reminded me I‘m not alone and inspired me. Through it all, Caine helpfully sets out so, so many ways to protect and uplift the bookstores that enrich and enliven our communities. A worthwhile read for any believer in bookstores!

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underground_bks
The Woman in Me | Britney Spears
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Britney Spears‘ memoir is entertaining, shocking, and stomach-turning—and above all it made me think of how women have been controlled over the centuries in the same ways: infantilized while sexually commodified, pain belittled, reproductive choices limited, separated from her children, institutionalized, involuntarily medicated, labor exploited. Britney says something about maybe having some kind of feminist awakening—I really wish this would be.

Texreader Excellent review. I‘m very much not a Britney fan, so I‘m not inclined to read this book. But I sympathize with every point you just made. The injustice is real. 4mo
underground_bks @Texreader thank you so much for saying that ❤️ it‘s a hard book to review! FWIW, I don‘t think the book would make you like her better 🫣 4mo
33 likes2 comments
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underground_bks
Untitled | Anonymous
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Beta read for a friend‘s current WIP!

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underground_bks
The White People | Arthur Machen
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Mehso-so

I read this because I learned in the acknowledgments of The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher that it inspired her book, and I felt like my reading would be incomplete without the source material. It‘s fascinating that this story was so popular—and a favorite of Lovecraft‘s, given it‘s not an easy read or a well-structured one. Pedantic, moralistic, and misogynistic—but “The Green Book” section is alluring and reminds me of a Wayward Children story.

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underground_bks
The Twisted Ones | T. Kingfisher
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This is a downright disturbing and deliciously atmospheric work of folkhorror, from hoarder‘s house to haunted woods, narrated with unexpected humor by a woman who just wants to keep her dumb dog safe. What I didn‘t know until the very end is that this book is inspired by a 1904 classic horror short story by Arthur Machen, and while you can definitely enjoy this book without knowing the story, I felt like I was missing something once I knew!

29 likes3 stack adds
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underground_bks
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In this collection of interviews and speeches, Angela Y. Davis teaches us that freedom is not only a constant struggle—but a global, intersectional, and interconnected one. While like other readers, I would have loved to read this as a more cohesive essay collection amended from her interviews and speeches, I learned a lot from this book and really appreciated how it contextualizes and connects Palestine to BLM, occupy, abolition, and more.

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underground_bks
Palestine | Joe Sacco
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Eyewitness journalism meets comics in this landmark work of graphic nonfiction, based on over a hundred interviews in Gaza and the West Bank during the author‘s visit in the 1990s. This book is intense, ugly, heartbreaking, and remains unfortunately not only relevant but urgent. The author comes across as pretty unlikeable—but you have to respect his transparency. I read this on the recommendation of Jewish author Sim Kern.

DimeryRene Love Sim Kern. 💕 4mo
underground_bks @DimeryRene me tooooo!!!!! 4mo
26 likes1 stack add2 comments
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underground_bks
Vampires of El Norte | Isabel Caas
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Childhood sweethearts Nena, a rancher‘s daughter and curandera, and Néstor, a vaquero and soldier, torn apart by class and by a terrible incident, must reunite to fight for their land and their lives in an 1840s Mexico invaded not only by colonizing Yankees, but vampires as well in this genre-defying work of historical fiction, horror, and romance. I do wish the balance was more horror over romance, however I deeply enjoyed the historical setting!

emz711 Oooo I liked Hacienda, this sounds good! 4mo
27 likes1 stack add1 comment
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underground_bks
Sparrow Hill Road | Seanan McGuire
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Welcome to the world of hitchhiking ghost Rose Marshall—run off the road on prom night 1952 by a man who sold his soul to drive forever young. Originally published in several short stories, Sparrow Hill Road reads as time jumping but still narratively cohesive vignettes following Rose through life, death, and afterlife, learning the rules of the Ghost Roads. THESE VIBES made for such a fun read for my work trip to Winslow, Arizona off Route 66!

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underground_bks
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Meet the darker, gothier little sister of Uprooted and The Bear and the Nightingale—with a hint of Howl‘s Moving Castle! Rooted in Polish folklore and set in a wickedly magical wood full of dangers and wonders alike, this grim yet romantic young adult fantasy marks the debut of a writer to watch.

Bklover What a cutie!!!!❤️😽 4mo
underground_bks @Bklover he‘s a star 🌟 4mo
Jari-chan Love that picture 😻 4mo
RosePressedPages Your description of this book sounds amazing (a combo of my fav books!?) and I‘m immediately finding myself a copy :) 4mo
dabbe Hello there, Mr. Adorable Kitty! 🖤🐾🖤 4mo
32 likes3 stack adds5 comments
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underground_bks
Such Sharp Teeth | Rachel Harrison
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After having read Cackle last October and Such Sharp Teeth this one, I think Rachel Harrison is my new Halloween tradition—if I can wait a whole year to read her newest one! I really dig her unique, grisly, quirky, emotionally real, razor sharp yet heartwarming stories. Her spin on werewolves has so much to say about the physical transformations women experience, trauma and revenge and recovery, being disbelieved, mothers and sisters, and more.

DimeryRene Harrison is also my Halloween tradition!! 4mo
underground_bks @DimeryRene they‘re just the perfect vibe!! 4mo
33 likes1 stack add2 comments
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underground_bks
The Gifts That Bind Us | Caroline O'Donoghue
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This series is just so fantastic at capturing the feelings and growing pains and interpersonal challenges of the teen years, all while fighting religious fundamentalism with witchcraft, queer love, and the power of friendship. This installment especially excels with representations of queer, racial, neurodivergent, and disability marginalization—and with portraying the suffering so often behind the worst actions—and it‘s just a fun ride!

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underground_bks
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While McCammon, an NPR correspondent and former evangelical, weaves her own story in, she takes a journalistic approach here, making it ideal for more recent exvangelicals or Christians wanting to understand the exvangelicals leaving their churches. Having deconstructed a decade ago and now on #exvangelical TikTok, not much was news to me, but I appreciate how this book validates and reports on this movement, its roots, trials, and grievances.

32 likes4 stack adds
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underground_bks
The 1619 Project: Born on the Water | Rene Watson, Nikole Hannah-Jones
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Read for Banned Books Week! This moving and necessary picture book offers a much-needed new perspective on the tragic loss of known ancestry for many African-Americans due to the Middle Passage and chattel slavery. This is an inspiring and beautifully illustrated story about American identity and Black history well worth spending time with not only for children but adults too.