theveganlibrarian theveganlibrarian

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Kimberly  🌳Librarian living in Glasgow 💚Stephen King and crime thrillers 🔪 📖 11.22.63 🎧 📚53 / 100

I am flying through The Miseducation of Cameron Post. Yesterday at lunch I was 22% of the way through and ended the day at 75% done. 🙌🏻
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Has anyone read this? It’s pretty slow paced but really compelling. Hoping to be finished today!

Just finished - The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion by Margaret Killjoy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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Synopsis : Danielle Cain, a queer punk rock traveller, turns up in the squatter town of Freedom, Idaho looking for answers about her best friend’s sudden suicide. The town is protected by a spirit, a blood red, three antlered stag, who has began to turn on its summoners. Danielle and the town must find a way to stop it and get out alive.
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Review: This novella was INSANELY GOOD. I first heard about it on @readingglassespodcast and when I saw @tordotcompub had released it as part of the “In Our Own World’s” collection of 4 lgbtq+ novellas I knew I had to buy it. The novella is short but it packs a punch. The magical elements are blended in so seamlessly that people are getting murdered by a psychotic mythical deer before you even realise 😂 Margaret Killjoy’s writing is truly fantastic, I enjoyed every moment of it and I can’t wait to read more of their writing. Another thing that was fantastic was how Killjoy makes gender fluidity a norm. When meeting each other characters often ask their names and then their preferred gender pronouns and it’s so refreshing to see this in modern writing. It’s so natural and unforced that it actually took me aback seeing it, I hope more writing follows suit.

I’ve been awol because I turned 30 on Sunday and I’ve been slightly tipsy ever since ☺️
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One of my bookish gifts was this new kindle from my dad because my old one died a death.
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Im off work for the next two weeks so will probably not be posting much but I will be reading lots! See you soon!

I’ve been feeling exhausted and overwhelmed at the moment so I took all last weekend to be by myself and chill. It was fantastic and I feel ready to talk to other people again 😂
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It was so sunny at the weekend and I sat in my garden, got a little tshirt tan and read. I’m so far behind with the @keeperofpages readalong (still at week one checkpoint 🙈) but I’m still really enjoying 11.22.63. I’ve had this book for so long I’m glad I finally picked it up.
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My snack is papaya and lime juice, what reading snacks do you enjoy?! 🍉

Just finished - Heart Berries: a memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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Synopsis : A powerful and poetic memoir from writer Terese Mailhot. Just a heads up, this is brutal. Trigger warnings for mental health issues, suicide, eating disorders, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, substance abuse and neglect.
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Review : This book is as beautiful as it is brutal. Mailhot’s writing is heart wrenching and poetic, delicately illustrating the most difficult times in her life with both lightness and gravity. I read this in one sitting, drawn into a memoir unlike any other I’ve read before. She speaks of her time in a psychiatric unit, spent after considering suicide during a bad relationship. Her life growing up on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation, the hardships her family faced and her desperation to escape. Her experiences in academia and the solace she found in her writing. I think the parts I was most shocked at was her relationship with Casey and the stories of her children (I don’t want to give too much away here but if you’ve read,I’m eager to discuss!!). Mailhot is a First Nations Canadian and I believe the first First Nations writer who’s work I’ve read. Her story and experience is so powerful and it is important that she is heard. I absolutely loved the stream of consciousness style of writing of this book. It is short, but every single word is calculated and meaningful, packing a punch that will guarantee you won’t forget about this story anytime soon.
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Even if memoirs are your usual jam, I really recommend picking up Heart Berries.
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Thank you @netgalley and @bloomsburypublishing for the ARC for review. This book will be released in the U.K. on the 12th July - a date for the diary!

Just finished - This is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare by Gabourey Sidibe ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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Synopsis : A memoir from Oscar nominated actress and director, Gabourey Sidibe.
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Review : I loved this book! If you are familiar with Sidibe you know she’s a force to be reckoned with on twitter. Funny, smart and witty, her online presence has made her more known to me than her varied portfolio of work. When I got a chance to request this ARC I was buzzing because I knew it was going to be great and I was not disappointed. She is a natural storyteller. I fell head first into this and I regret nothing. Firstly, she has lead an extremely varied and interesting life. Her anecdotes range from laugh out loud funny (working as a phone sex operator) to bittersweet and touching (her single moms struggle to raise two children). Secondly, she has opened herself up to the world in an extremely empowering and moving way by discussing her struggles with mental health issues, including her eating disorder, how she was treated by Hollywood and her decision to undergo weight-loss surgery. Her writing is powerful when required to be but she can snap right back to humour in an instant, without it feeling forced. I feel I know so much about her now yet I’ve only had a snapshot of her life. Sidibe has some important stories to tell and I am excited to see what comes next. Honestly, I think she should consider fiction writing next, I could really see her making waves in that community. If you’re looking for a memoir that is equal parts jokes and heart, equal parts celeb memoir and social commentary, do yourself a favour and check this out!

This book is out now in the U.K. from @penguinrhuk. Thank you to them and @netgalley for the review copy.

Just finished : Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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Synopsis : When it comes to drumming, Leah is always on beat, but when it comes to her real life, it’s a different story. When her friendship group becomes fractured, and with prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. Leah has to stop her friends from falling out and deal with her growing attraction to someone in her group.
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Review : Oh man, this book was so much fun. It was so nice to revisit this universe, especially since it’s not been that long since I read Simon vs the Homosapiens Agenda. I really liked Leah as a character, she’s flawed, angry and insecure. She’s both unsure and completely sure of what she wants in equal measures. In essence, she’s the quintessential teen girl. This book is your classic teen story full of relationship drama, prom disasters and awkward sleepovers. I hope so much that Albertalli writes more books around these characters, I love them so much.

Just finished - Florida by Lauren Groff ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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Synopsis : a collection of short stories set in Florida.
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Review : Holy crap, this book is absolutely outstanding. Safe to say, it’s my favourite book of the year thus far. The stories in Florida crackle with tension and are heady with the oppressive heat and humidity of the state. Geoff’s writing is like a knife, neatly dissecting the characters, both cruel and caring. The female characters in this book are so strong and so real, each imperfect in their own ways. They are unapologetically flawed yet moral and caring, the wives and mothers we all know. I’d be hard pressed to pick my favourite story, they all drag you into them immediately and leave you wanting more once their done. I cannot wait to get my hands on more of her writing and I think I’ll be going out to purchase my own copy of this as well. I cannot recommend enough.
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Thanks to @netgalley and @penguinrhuk for an ARC of this title. 💖

Just finished - The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson ⭐️⭐️.5 .
Synopsis : This book starts with Ronson trying to find the author of a mysterious book sent to academics around the world and develops into an investigation of how we define “madness”.
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Review : I’d heard such great things about this book so I was excited to finally listen to the audio however I was a little let down. This book is a very light touch on an extremely complicated field and I felt like Ronson could have elaborated more on more specific areas or psychology/psychoanalysis. Instead the book is peppered with a lot of interviews and anecdotes that while interesting and entertaining aren’t super insightful. Also, I just didn’t find this book laugh-out-loud funny as others seem to have. At times the book was tedious and confusing, it jumps from topic to topic without any semblance of structure. He seemed to take a biased view from the outset without any real reasoning and I’ve read some articles online where interviewees have claimed he has manipulated or fabricated parts of this book - although I don’t know how much weight those accusations hold. There were parts I found interesting and I would probably give his other books a try but I don’t think I’d recommend this to anyone who is truly interesting in learning more about the subject.

I can’t believe I’m saying this but May roundup!! Where has the month gone, I’m shook. As usual, 10 books this month! I’ve still got a few to review but I’ll get to them!
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2 audiobooks
1 paperback
1 hardback
6 ebooks
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And the ratings!
I Feel Bad About My Neck - 3/5
From Twinkle, With Love - 3/5
Adulthood is a Myth - 5/5
Big Mushy Happy Lump - 5/5
Hearding Cats - 5/5
Needful Things - 5/5
The Swedish Girl - 4/5
The Stranger Beside Me - 2.5/5
The Psychopath Test - 3/5
This is Just My Face - 4/5
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I struggled reading TSBM this month and it put me in a bit of a slump but I pulled it back once it was done and out of my life 😂
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What was your favourite read this month?

Just finished - Needful Things by Stephen King ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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Synopsis : Sleepy Castle Rock is turned upside down when Leland Gaunt comes to town and opens his shop, Needful Things. Anyone who enters will find their perfect object waiting for them and Gaunt is willing to sell, for a small price and a favour. His favours, small pranks on other towns people, spiral further and further out of control until the town is at war with itself. Sheriff Alan Pangbourn suspects Gaunt is behind the madness and must work to stop the townspeople of Castle Rock before they completely destroy themselves.
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Review : I’m so happy I finally read this book. I was roughly aware of the plot but would never have picked this up if it weren’t for @keeperofpages hosting another fabulous readalong! There are so many iconic characters in this book and watching Gaunt’s plan slowly develop is both horrifying and fascinating. King has weaved a very intricate web of plot lines and complex characters and the final payoff is spectacular. It’s so scary how easy it would be to manipulate people’s existing prejudices to such catastrophic proportions, which is the true horror of the novel. I loved the character of Alan and I’d be very interested to read the other novels he featured in, not to mention the new Castle Rock tv series coming soon!! .
Thanks again Janel and everyone who participated for another great King readalong! Roll on next month!

Just finished - The Swedish Girl by Alex Gray ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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Synopsis : When Eva Magnusson, a beautiful, wealthy student from Sweden, is found dead in her flat in Glasgow, suspicion falls on her male flat mate. Kirsty Wilson, Eva’s flatmate and daughter of a police detective, refuses to believe it and inspired by family friend DCI Lorimer sets out to clear her flat mates name and find out who really killed her friend Eva.
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Review : I’ve never read any Alex Gray before but a colleague lent me this book after I gushed about how much I love Denise Mina. I wouldn’t normally dive into the middle of a series but I honestly don’t think I missed too much of DCI Lorimer’s or his counterparts backstories. This was a speedy read, the narrative chops between the many different characters POVs without being confusing. I love a book set in my city and I liked the way Gray brought Glasgow to life. I thought the plot was maybe a wee bit too predictable despite a hell of a lot of red herrings being thrown in but I really enjoyed it anyway. I’d recommend if you are partial to a snappy wee crime thriller to tide you over between heavier reads! 🤗
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Have you read any Alex Gray before? What would you recommend me checking out next?

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