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literature

129 books.

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The Dutch House

by: Ann Patchett
Ave. Rating: 4.1
Pages: 337
Year Published: 2019
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"I found this book.... overhyped. What was not overhyped was the Tom Hanks narration! A++

It was riding along at a 3 stars but the ending brought it up for sure. I get it - it’s interesting for discussion, themes, symbolism and the like. But I didn’t enjoy the story really. It was just “eh” through till like 75%, then it got better. There was some meaning and heartfelt moments brought in to save the day."
- katelynn
04/02/2020

Claire of the Sea Light

by: Edwidge Danticat
Ave. Rating: 3.66
Pages: 238
Year Published: 2013
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Our Souls at Night

by: Kent Haruf
Ave. Rating: 3.91
Pages: 179
Year Published: 2015
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"Sweet and sad. A lovely, quiet story. I think I will appreciate it even more at a different stage of life."
- katelynn
11/20/2019
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Beartown (Beartown, #1)

by: Fredrik Backman
Ave. Rating: 4.26
Pages: 418
Year Published: 2017 (2016)
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"I find it hard to express my feelings about this book. My heart! This novel engrossed me - engaged all of my emotions, my senses, my imagination. It made me think about myself and our world - about the ordinary people I see every day - differently.

I've heard Backman described as the Dickens of our time. I absolutely get it after reading this book. What I loved the most was also the most Dickens-esque element of the book: the vast array of richly developed characters. There are so many! And none of them are minor. Backman uses his time so well giving you a brief, but vital glimpse into each character's life, what shapes their perspective. He weaves them all together so beautifully - no one is a stock character! Everyone is part of the rich tapestry that makes up this small town.

Beartown is a character in itself, which I love! This town could be any sports-obsessed, economically depressed town in any part of the world. I am not a sports person, but I could absolutely get in the mindset of the people and this thing that unites them.

A lot of the content was very difficult to read, and the results were upsetting. I finished the book feeling a deep sense of injustice and anger, but also hope. The sacrifice, love and commitment that so many people in the community displayed paint a picture of a different, better world than the one we live in today."
- katelynn
05/30/2018

Betty

by: Tiffany McDaniel
Ave. Rating: 4.39
Pages: 480
Year Published: 2020
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Lights All Night Long

by: Lydia Fitzpatrick
Ave. Rating: 3.91
Pages: 340
Year Published: 2020 (2019)
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The Bluest Eye

by: Toni Morrison
Ave. Rating: 4.08
Pages: 216
Year Published: 2005 (1970)
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Clock Dance

by: Anne Tyler
Ave. Rating: 3.58
Pages: 292
Year Published: 2018
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"I’ll give it this, for a book where pretty much nothing happens it kept me engaged to the very end. It’s a quiet story (that doesn’t seem to have a lot to say... but maybe I’m missing it).

Maybe I would appreciate it more at a different stage of life."
- katelynn
05/29/2019
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My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry

by: Fredrik Backman
Ave. Rating: 4.05
Pages: 372
Year Published: 2015 (2013)
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"Although I definitely didn't like this as much as Backman's other books, it was still full of his signature humor and found-family themes. I enjoyed watching the relationships develop, but I got a little tired of the fairy-tale metaphor. It felt overworked."
- katelynn
10/17/2020

The Last Exiles

by: Ann Shin
Ave. Rating: 3.74
Pages: 336
Year Published: 2021
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Purple Hibiscus

by: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Ave. Rating: 4.17
Pages: 336
Year Published: 2012 (2003)
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"The writing was good and I was immediately endeared to the narrator/protagonist. Her blossoming was really great to watch. But overall I felt the story lacked plot. It seemed meandering and directionless."
- katelynn
04/08/2019

A Little Life

by: Hanya Yanagihara
Ave. Rating: 4.31
Pages: 720
Year Published: 2015
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In the Midst of Winter

by: Isabel Allende
Ave. Rating: 3.69
Pages: 10
Year Published: 2017
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Heads of the Colored People

by: Nafissa Thompson-Spires
Ave. Rating: 4.12
Pages: 224
Year Published: 2018
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The River

by: Peter Heller
Ave. Rating: 3.86
Pages: 253
Year Published: 2019
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"4.5

Beautiful writing, amazing setting, and page-turning plot. A literary thriller with an incredible premise. The ending was heart-breaking, but there's plenty of warning for it if you're looking.

I loved the way the sentence structure was sometimes long and lyrical but sometimes short and staccato - moving you at the pace of the story.

I will definitely read more by this author!"
- katelynn
05/26/2021

Bel Canto

by: Ann Patchett
Ave. Rating: 3.92
Pages: 318
Year Published: 2005 (2001)
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Meet Me at the Museum

by: Anne Youngson
Ave. Rating: 3.93
Pages: 224
Year Published: 2018
Date Read: 02/11/2019
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An Unnecessary Woman

by: Rabih Alameddine
Ave. Rating: 3.82
Pages: 291
Year Published: 2014 (2013)
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The Enchanted

by: Rene Denfeld
Ave. Rating: 3.95
Pages: 233
Year Published: 2014
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Till We Have Faces

by: C.S. Lewis
Ave. Rating: 4.14
Pages: 313
Year Published: 2006 (1956)
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"I loved this up to the end. I think I'm probably missing some of the greater points/themes/symbolism. I had to read a synopsis and I still don't totally get it. Just wish I had a lit class or a good book club to discuss this with. Again my inability to see the forest for the trees is hindering my enjoyment of good books. "
- katelynn
03/19/2018
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Nothing to See Here

by: Kevin Wilson
Ave. Rating: 3.94
Pages: 288
Year Published: 2019
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"Oof, talk about a funny book that packs a punch. It treads the line between hilarious and heartbreaking really well and ends with such hope."
- katelynn
05/04/2021

What Could Be Saved

by: Liese O'Halloran Schwarz
Ave. Rating: 4.05
Pages: 450
Year Published: 2021
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Chosen (The Lost Books, #1)

by: Ted Dekker
Ave. Rating: 3.9
Pages: 260
Year Published: 2007
Date Read: 06/12/2009
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The Night Watchman

by: Louise Erdrich
Ave. Rating: 4.15
Pages: 453
Year Published: 2020
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A Trick of the Light (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #7)

by: Louise Penny
Ave. Rating: 4.29
Pages: 339
Year Published: 2011
Date Read: 05/22/2021
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The Chosen (Reuven Malther #1)

by: Chaim Potok
Ave. Rating: 4.04
Pages: 304
Year Published: 1987 (1966)
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"3.5"
- katelynn
06/19/2021
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Little Bee

by: Chris Cleave
Ave. Rating: 3.71
Pages: 275
Year Published: 2010 (2008)
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"I found this story convicting - the horrors we're difficult to read and will stay with me. I think what is convicting is my desire to forget about it. I have three stars not because it was hard to read but because the characters were so in-relatable to me. (The characters I was supposed to relate to anyway) they were just not good."
- katelynn
02/18/2015

The Other Americans

by: Laila Lalami
Ave. Rating: 3.93
Pages: 320
Year Published: 2019
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Mansfield Park

by: Jane Austen
Ave. Rating: 3.86
Pages: 488
Year Published: 2003 (1814)
Date Read: 06/09/2008
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Cloud Cuckoo Land

by: Anthony Doerr
Ave. Rating: 4.38
Pages: 640
Year Published: 2021
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An American Marriage

by: Tayari Jones
Ave. Rating: 3.95
Pages: 308
Year Published: 2018
Date Read: 05/08/2018
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A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

by: Anthony Marra
Ave. Rating: 4.07
Pages: 402
Year Published: 2013
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"This book is a work of art, truly. A work of art that completely wrecked me multiple times. It's both a beautiful and heart-breaking read. From beginning to end the writing is poetic and thoughtful.

The way the author tells the stories (there are so many stories) is like he's painting a painting starting in the middle and moving outward in a spiral until the picture makes sense. Left to right in the painting is past to future. I've rarely seen the use of third person omniscient POV used so skillfully and effectively.

It goes in the same category of books for me as The Kite Runner. Will I recommend it? Absolutely, emphatically. Will I read it again? I don't think I can handle it a second time."
- katelynn
02/19/2018
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Life of Pi

by: Yann Martel
Ave. Rating: 3.92
Pages: 460
Year Published: 2006 (2001)
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"I was completely shocked by how much I LOVED this book. I've known about the basic plot since it came out and I've seen the movie, so I've had it in the category of books I "probably won't like." (Even though I did really enjoy the movie)

This is nothing like I expected. There's certainly philosophy, but it's not dry. There's essays on the author's opinions, but the plot never drags. And it's just so dang funny!

Read this so we can talk about it!"
- katelynn
04/26/2021

The Nickel Boys

by: Colson Whitehead
Ave. Rating: 4.25
Pages: 213
Year Published: 2019
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Olive Kitteridge (Olive Kitteridge, #1)

by: Elizabeth Strout
Ave. Rating: 3.83
Pages: 270
Year Published: 2008
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"Oof. This is so painful to read. It hit close to home on several really hard topics. The writing is incredible! But dang.

The hardest part is it's not the visceral, obvious moments of pain that it pokes at. It's the subtle, daily, underlying fears and disappointments that it highlights. The stuff that keeps me awake at night."
- katelynn
03/11/2021
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The History of Bees (Klimakvartetten, #1)

by: Maja Lunde
Ave. Rating: 3.81
Pages: 353
Year Published: 2017 (2015)
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A Man Called Ove

by: Fredrik Backman
Ave. Rating: 4.35
Pages: 337
Year Published: 2014 (2012)
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"I would've given this book 3 stars up until the last third. It really got good and left me in tears in the end. It was worth the read - even though it took more effort for me since I generally dislike books in a modern setting."
- katelynn
11/17/2016
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Girl, Woman, Other

by: Bernardine Evaristo
Ave. Rating: 4.37
Pages: 453
Year Published: 2019
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Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

by: Gail Honeyman
Ave. Rating: 4.27
Pages: 336
Year Published: 2017
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"4.5

This book was a combination of heavy and sweet. Eleanor was such a great protagonist.

And I loved the ending! I don't think I would've 10 years ago, but for me, right now, it was perfect."
- katelynn
06/26/2020
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Where the Crawdads Sing

by: Delia Owens
Ave. Rating: 4.46
Pages: 384
Year Published: 2018
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"For most of the novel, this book was just okay. It was so much hardship, sadness, uncomfortable relationships... but what saves it is the setting. I felt fully immersed in the marsh life. I was definitely swept away by the romance of it. Between this and The Peanut Butter Falcon, it’s been a real Carolina coast love fest over here!

The ending was great. I felt satisfied."
- katelynn
04/09/2020
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Bury Your Dead (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #6)

by: Louise Penny
Ave. Rating: 4.33
Pages: 371
Year Published: 2010
Date Read: 02/11/2021
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Everyone Brave is Forgiven

by: Chris Cleave
Ave. Rating: 3.76
Pages: 418
Year Published: 2016
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"Still reeling a bit from this one. It started out so light-hearted and hilarious - the tone reminded me so much of P.G. Wodehouse, which I LOVE. There's a moment when all of that changes. The tone of the book, along with the internal journey of the characters, gets more and more serious. As I can imagine with the war, it's rather a jarring change, but it feels real and true.

The writing is so, so good. It checked my boxes of heart and humor, then checked my additional box of "teaches me history without me noticing".

I didn't love the ending, but again, it felt real. It's not neat and tidy, but it speaks to the reality of the time and the progression of the characters."
- katelynn
12/13/2019

The Great Believers

by: Rebecca Makkai
Ave. Rating: 4.24
Pages: 421
Year Published: 2018
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The Last Romantics

by: Tara Conklin
Ave. Rating: 3.73
Pages: 384
Year Published: 2019
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"2.5

The writing here was very good, and the plot kept me interested to the end. I just did not like the characters or what happened. I don't mind having unlikable characters or a sad ending, but this was just a whole lot of both and not a lot of point. She kind of wrapped it up with some thoughts... I just didn't think it was enough for the terrible ride I just went on."
- katelynn
02/20/2020
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Red at the Bone

by: Jacqueline Woodson
Ave. Rating: 4.01
Pages: 196
Year Published: 2019
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"This was, as expected, gorgeous, poetic writing. The narrative structure reminded me of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena - the story is told from the center outward in spirals, moving forward and backward in time with different characters. I didn't find it too confusing, and as with Vital Phenomena, it was a beautiful way to paint a picture. In this case, the picture is of a family - and all of the expectations and support and responsibilities and love that go with it. It was definitely deeply sad, but worth it."
- katelynn
02/07/2020
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The Remains of the Day

by: Kazuo Ishiguro
Ave. Rating: 4.13
Pages: 258
Year Published: 2005 (1989)
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"Wow. This book is so subtle and quiet in its tragedy that the heartbreak of it takes you by surprise. It really is beautifully crafted - so British in its description of deeply felt emotion."
- katelynn
09/20/2014
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Little Fires Everywhere

by: Celeste Ng
Ave. Rating: 4.09
Pages: 338
Year Published: 2017
Date Read: 01/21/2019
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Normal People

by: Sally Rooney
Ave. Rating: 3.85
Pages: 273
Year Published: 2019 (2018)
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If Beale Street Could Talk

by: James Baldwin
Ave. Rating: 4.27
Pages: 197
Year Published: 2006 (1974)
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"I can tell this book is good literature, but I didn’t love it. I get frustrated when I feel like there’s something I am supposed to understand that is just beyond my reach. I wish I could discuss this in a book club!

The incredible writing probably would’ve boosted it to a 4 star for me if not for the grittiness and rawness. The level of crassness kind of took me out of the story... but I could see it maybe accomplishing another purpose of the author."
- katelynn
01/01/2020
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A Woman Is No Man

by: Etaf Rum
Ave. Rating: 4.25
Pages: 339
Year Published: 2019
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"Oof. This was rough. A lot of the writing felt pretty basic, in terms of women’s rights discussions. (Just lots of overused phrases). “You’re just as good as a man, follow your dreams, don’t let anyone hold you down, etc.” But the story was anything but basic - it was complex and real and hard.

A great followup to this would be Melinda Gates’ book: The Moment of Lift."
- katelynn
12/31/2020

The Name of the Rose

by: Umberto Eco
Ave. Rating: 4.13
Pages: 536
Year Published: 1994 (1980)
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Deacon King Kong

by: James McBride
Ave. Rating: 4.21
Pages: 371
Year Published: 2020
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To Kill a Mockingbird

by: Harper Lee
Ave. Rating: 4.28
Pages: 324
Year Published: 2006 (1960)
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This Life or the Next

by: Demian Vitanza
Ave. Rating: 3.75
Pages: 352
Year Published: 2018 (2017)
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Americanah

by: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Ave. Rating: 4.3
Pages: 477
Year Published: 2013
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"So disappointing. The writing was lovely and there were a lot of important conversations had. But the plot - the actual story was just... not good.

This is my second Adichie novel and I don't think there will be a third. She writes with a realism that I can appreciate, but it's just unpleasant to read."
- katelynn
09/15/2020

The Death of Vivek Oji

by: Akwaeke Emezi
Ave. Rating: 4.15
Pages: 248
Year Published: 2020
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The Orchardist

by: Amanda Coplin
Ave. Rating: 3.78
Pages: 426
Year Published: 2012
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"I waffled back and forth for a while about whether to give this 4 or 5 stars. The book as a whole was undoubtedly a 5, but the ending... Do I give it a 4 because I don't like how it ends or a 5 because it ends as it should? This books is equal parts romantic and realist. So, SO beautifully written. Other reviews call it "sweeping" - which I think is a fitting descriptor.

Overall I feel confused about it - because I didn't love the story. But I loved the book."
- katelynn
04/27/2017
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Fortune Smiles

by: Adam Johnson
Ave. Rating: 4.02
Pages: 304
Year Published: 2015
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The Seas

by: Samantha Hunt
Ave. Rating: 4.04
Pages: 193
Year Published: 2005 (2004)
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Mercy House

by: Alena Dillon
Ave. Rating: 3.92
Pages: 384
Year Published: 2020
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Cold Sassy Tree

by: Olive Ann Burns
Ave. Rating: 4.01
Pages: 391
Year Published: 2005 (1984)
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"My overall impression of the book place mild. I was hoping for something big in the end but it never came. The characters were complex and the relationships were interesting, but overall the plot was a bit slow."
- katelynn
02/14/2014
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A Thousand Splendid Suns

by: Khaled Hosseini
Ave. Rating: 4.39
Pages: 372
Year Published: 2007
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"A beautiful, tragic, yet hopeful story. I love books that broaden my perspective and inform me about history while carrying me along with a great story and great characters."
- katelynn
10/13/2015
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Writers & Lovers

by: Lily King
Ave. Rating: 4.07
Pages: 320
Year Published: 2020
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"I didn't want to like this book. On the surface, it seems annoying. A naval-gazing protagonist I can't relate to in a genre that tends to be a bummer.

From the beginning it gripped me. Even though I couldn't relate, I rooted for her. Even though it was hard and sad, it was also hopeful and joyous in the end. Looking forward to discussing this with book club!"
- katelynn
04/08/2021

The Morning Star

by: Karl Ove Knausgård
Ave. Rating: 4.2
Pages: 666
Year Published: 2021 (2020)
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A Fine Balance

by: Rohinton Mistry
Ave. Rating: 4.34
Pages: 603
Year Published: 2001 (1995)
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"This one hurt to read... really. It was sweet and beautiful, but at the same time tragic and ugly. It was very long, but I never felt like it was dragging. I loved being able to peer into a different culture - even into different sub-cultures within a larger culture. I loved all of the relationships that grew.

I hated what happened. But I feel like part of being an adult (and really the point of the book) is looking at life as a balance between good and bad. You can't just take the good.

Overall, it's incredibly well-written, absorbing, disturbing and beautiful. I wish I was in a book club that could talk about it - because I tend to see the trees and not the forest. Why did certain characters take certain actions? I don't get it. I'm sure there's a ton of symbolism I'm missing too. "
- katelynn
05/26/2017

The Age of Innocence

by: Edith Wharton
Ave. Rating: 3.96
Pages: 293
Year Published: 2004 (1920)
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Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #1)

by: Louise Penny
Ave. Rating: 3.89
Pages: 293
Year Published: 2007 (2005)
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"I absolutely understand why people call this comfort reading. It's a murder mystery filled with beautiful, scenic imagery and endearing, complex characters. It's not often that I find a mystery that feels literary in the way it treats character development and relationships.

Although certainly not plot-driven, I'd call this a cozy and engaging read."
- katelynn
01/11/2019
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The Poisonwood Bible

by: Barbara Kingsolver
Ave. Rating: 4.07
Pages: 546
Year Published: 2005 (1998)
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Sorrow and Bliss

by: Meg Mason
Ave. Rating: 4.19
Pages: 352
Year Published: 2021
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The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (Harold Fry, #1)

by: Rachel Joyce
Ave. Rating: 3.91
Pages: 320
Year Published: 2012
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"I just can’t. This books makes me want to kiss my husband and hold my children, call my friends and take a walk. Completely overwhelmed.

It’s a beautiful book."
- katelynn
06/13/2020
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The Secret Garden

by: Frances Hodgson Burnett
Ave. Rating: 4.13
Pages: 331
Year Published: 1998 (1910)
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One Foot in Eden

by: Ron Rash
Ave. Rating: 4.13
Pages: 214
Year Published: 2004 (2002)
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Bride of the Sea

by: Eman Quotah
Ave. Rating: 3.62
Pages: 312
Year Published: 2021
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The Round House

by: Louise Erdrich
Ave. Rating: 3.95
Pages: 323
Year Published: 2012
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"3.5"
- katelynn
08/02/2021

All the Pretty Horses (The Border Trilogy, #1)

by: Cormac McCarthy
Ave. Rating: 4
Pages: 302
Year Published: 1993 (1992)
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The Mountains Sing

by: Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai
Ave. Rating: 4.32
Pages: 342
Year Published: 2020
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The Overstory

by: Richard Powers
Ave. Rating: 4.11
Pages: 502
Year Published: 2018
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Their Eyes Were Watching God

by: Zora Neale Hurston
Ave. Rating: 3.96
Pages: 219
Year Published: 2006 (1937)
Date Read: 01/01/2004
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The Space Between Us

by: Thrity Umrigar
Ave. Rating: 4
Pages: 321
Year Published: 2007 (2006)
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"Good. Grief. Talk about compulsively readable literary fiction! I couldn't put this down. I was so invested in each of the characters. They were all flawed - which made for a more complicated read.

The writing was so reflective. The atmosphere and setting were so rich. I felt fully immersed, which I love.

This was a hard, but mostly satisfying read. It felt very real."
- katelynn
03/29/2020
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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

by: Mark Haddon
Ave. Rating: 3.89
Pages: 226
Year Published: 2004 (2003)
Date Read: 03/12/2008
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The Kindest Lie

by: Nancy Johnson
Ave. Rating: 3.6
Pages: 336
Year Published: 2021
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The Great Alone

by: Kristin Hannah
Ave. Rating: 4.35
Pages: 440
Year Published: 2018
Date Read: 10/01/2018
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The Light Between Oceans

by: M.L. Stedman
Ave. Rating: 4.02
Pages: 362
Year Published: 2012
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"4.5. How to describe this? Beautiful. Devastating.
That comes close, I guess.

The experience of reading this was incredibly painful at times. The author captures so well the joys and sorrows of parenthood. The themes of love and heartbreak and forgiveness are wrapped so well in the beautiful setting. It kept me up at night thinking about what the characters would be going through... Makes me hold my children closer.

I dropped it down from 5 stars because the tragedy of the story didn’t have a lot of resolution. For my reading experience to have been perfect, I needed redemption! But I understand and appreciate tragedy for what it is. Such is life."
- katelynn
08/05/2019
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The Kite Runner

by: Khaled Hosseini
Ave. Rating: 4.31
Pages: 371
Year Published: 2004 (2003)
Date Read: 10/20/2007
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Ask Again, Yes

by: Mary Beth Keane
Ave. Rating: 3.96
Pages: 390
Year Published: 2019
Date Read: 09/21/2019
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Us Against You (Beartown, #2)

by: Fredrik Backman
Ave. Rating: 4.34
Pages: 448
Year Published: 2018 (2017)
Date Read: 07/10/2018
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Sparks Like Stars

by: Nadia Hashimi
Ave. Rating: 4.34
Pages: 464
Year Published: 2021
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"3.5"
- katelynn
06/28/2021
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The Stationery Shop

by: Marjan Kamali
Ave. Rating: 4.21
Pages: 322
Year Published: 2019
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"I was swept away by the picture of this culture - one I’ve never had close contact with before. It was rich and vivid. I learned so much history, but I still feel like there’s so much I don’t understand.

At first I found myself rolling my eyes at the dramatic and all-consuming nature of the love story - it felt just very YA to me. But then, isn’t that just being young and in love? Once I let go of my cynicism and suspend reality a bit, I could appreciate the ROMANCE of this life-long love story. Especially the ending - I listened to beautiful Persian music and got all melty!

[mild spoilers - next paragraph]
I was even more fascinated with the adult characters - the Stationery store owner and Bahman’s mother. Their story was fully of so much human brokenness and tragedy. It was paralleled by the beautiful and pure love story of our main characters. The tragedy of the first story lead to the tragedy of the second. Mr. Fakhri - his sins, loves, heartbreak, and attempts at redemption - are worthy of a very long book club discussion.
[end spoilers]

The ending was just lovely. I went up to five stars because of that ending. And don’t miss the acknowledgements!!! They left me crying in a Starbucks."
- katelynn
01/18/2020
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The History of Love

by: Nicole Krauss
Ave. Rating: 3.91
Pages: 255
Year Published: 2006 (2005)
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"I wanted to like this.
But the unusual narrative structure was so off-putting, it made me on edge.
It felt pretentious. I was distracted.

I think this is a book that could definitely benefit from multiple reads. I really think I missed a lot, so it seems unfair to give a review, but eh. Here we are.

I do think the ending was really, really sweet. But it wasn't enough to redeem the rest of the book for me."
- katelynn
11/09/2018
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The Brutal Telling (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #5)

by: Louise Penny
Ave. Rating: 4.22
Pages: 372
Year Published: 2009
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"This was a shocker for me - I can't believe she did what she did! Wow.

But another cozy, wonderful Gamache story. I loved every minute. Certain parts were so moving I had to pause, take a moment to get it together. All from a mystery novel! What Penny does with these books is really special."
- katelynn
09/26/2020
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Father Melancholy's Daughter

by: Gail Godwin
Ave. Rating: 3.97
Pages: 416
Year Published: 2002 (1991)
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"If this book hadn’t been so hard to finish, it would have easily been a 5 Star for me. The writing is so rich and beautiful - heavy with symbolism and religious reflections. The story of this girl coming into herself as an adult, free from but also enriched by the circumstances of her past, is really lovely to watch. There really wasn’t a lot of plot - it’s mostly character development. That’s not usually my cup of tea but I feel edified by reading this - not only as a lover of literature but also as a thoughtful religious person."
- katelynn
04/22/2018
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My Name Is Lucy Barton

by: Elizabeth Strout
Ave. Rating: 3.52
Pages: 193
Year Published: 2016
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"This falls Into the category of books for me that I can tell are good but I don’t know why. I just didn’t get it."
- katelynn
03/04/2019
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East of Eden

by: John Steinbeck
Ave. Rating: 4.38
Pages: 601
Year Published: 2002 (1952)
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"4.5"
- katelynn
11/07/2020
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The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley

by: Hannah Tinti
Ave. Rating: 3.89
Pages: 376
Year Published: 2017
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Once There Were Wolves

by: Charlotte McConaghy
Ave. Rating: 4.24
Pages: 272
Year Published: 2021
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Nobody's Fool (Sully #1)

by: Richard Russo
Ave. Rating: 4.11
Pages: 549
Year Published: 1994 (1993)
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Things We Lost to the Water

by: Eric Nguyen
Ave. Rating: 3.77
Pages: 304
Year Published: 2021
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This Is How It Always Is

by: Laurie Frankel
Ave. Rating: 4.25
Pages: 338
Year Published: 2018 (2017)
Date Read: 06/25/2018
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Infinite Country

by: Patricia Engel
Ave. Rating: 4.01
Pages: 191
Year Published: 2021
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Britt-Marie Was Here

by: Fredrik Backman
Ave. Rating: 4.06
Pages: 324
Year Published: 2016 (2014)
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"Heart. Humor. Those are the main things I love in novels right now and Backman always gives them to me in spades. This novel was no exception. It was wonderful. Masterful character development, hilarious interactions - one day I’m going to read so much Backman I’ll wake up a sports fan against my will. "
- katelynn
07/22/2019

Redhead by the Side of the Road

by: Anne Tyler
Ave. Rating: 3.62
Pages: 178
Year Published: 2020
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The Cruelest Month (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #3)

by: Louise Penny
Ave. Rating: 4.14
Pages: 310
Year Published: 2008 (2007)
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"4.5

I came the realization about halfway through this book that this is a series I will read again. Which gave me immense relief because at times I find the writing confusing which is the ONLY criticism I have of this series.

I will read these books again, along with Anne of Green Gables and Narnia and Harry Potter.

Just like in Avonlea, Penny has created a place you want to move to. You want to sit around the fire with these people, eat their food and laugh with them. The magic of these stories is that the mystery is almost secondary to the relationships. The breakthrough with Armand and Beauvoir had me in tears."
- katelynn
05/06/2020
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A Fatal Grace (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #2)

by: Louise Penny
Ave. Rating: 4.09
Pages: 311
Year Published: 2007 (2006)
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"Reading this story was just like being wrapped in a warm blanket. I CRAVED reading it. So strange that a story about murder could make you feel that way! The characters and atmosphere were so rich.

I connected with this novel a lot more than the first in the series. I'm finally starting to understand what all the fuss is about! "
- katelynn
12/26/2019

The Stories of Breece D'J Pancake

by: Breece D'J Pancake
Ave. Rating: 4.15
Pages: 192
Year Published: 2002 (1983)
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A Rule Against Murder (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #4)

by: Louise Penny
Ave. Rating: 4.19
Pages: 322
Year Published: 2009 (2008)
Date Read: 06/25/2020
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Anxious People

by: Fredrik Backman
Ave. Rating: 4.23
Pages: 341
Year Published: 2020 (2019)
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"Backman does it again: writes incredible characters who form beautiful relationships and give us amazing insights into what it means to be human. It’s a story that unfolds in one day but delivers so much hope! I cried a lot. "
- katelynn
12/31/2020
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Dear Edward

by: Ann Napolitano
Ave. Rating: 4.1
Pages: 340
Year Published: 2020
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"This book was cruising along at a 3 star for me (meaning I like it, but I don't really like it - 4 star - or love it - 5 star). I especially enjoyed the plot-line in the plane, going deep with the different characters. I was equally bored and intrigued. Classic literary fiction - not much happening.

But the ending brought it up to a 4 star for me. Edward's coming of age and healing are beautiful and inspiring. Although the ending of the plane plot was super hard to read... disturbing really. Will I ever fly again?"
- katelynn
12/15/2021
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The Vanishing Half

by: Brit Bennett
Ave. Rating: 4.22
Pages: 343
Year Published: 2020
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"This was a good book, but not an enjoyable one. I wouldn't say it was hard to read, but it's hard to sit with.

It's certainly written masterfully. The themes of identity and personhood are woven incredibly through the three generations. But I need someone to talk to about it. Let's debrief."
- katelynn
07/14/2020
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Never Let Me Go

by: Kazuo Ishiguro
Ave. Rating: 3.83
Pages: 288
Year Published: 2010 (2005)
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"It's hard to write a review of this book without comparing it to Remains of the Day. As in RotD, so much of the depth of emotion and connection is left unsaid, not just literally unsaid by the characters but also unexplained by the author. It's not bad - just interesting. Somehow it makes the pathos of both books so much sadder. This is another deeply sad book - there are no cathartic moments or revelations. It is quietly reflective on a society we are not that far from. I did appreciate that although the setting was somewhat distopic, the story focused on the characters and their relationships. The distopia was a seldom-mentioned backdrop. "
- katelynn
01/03/2016

Transcendent Kingdom

by: Yaa Gyasi
Ave. Rating: 4.15
Pages: 264
Year Published: 2020
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Augustown

by: Kei Miller
Ave. Rating: 4.31
Pages: 368
Year Published: 2016
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Open Water

by: Caleb Azumah Nelson
Ave. Rating: 4.2
Pages: 145
Year Published: 2021
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Homegoing

by: Yaa Gyasi
Ave. Rating: 4.46
Pages: 305
Year Published: 2016
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"My reaction to this book is summed up in a jaw drop. That's how I felt pretty much the last third of the book, like my jaw was on the floor. This story is beautiful and sweeping and heartbreaking and so much to process! It will leave you changed. This book reminds me of The Invention of Wings - not in content, but in the way I know I will be thinking about it for years to come.

I highly recommend the audio version."
- katelynn
04/21/2020