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I started a #bookstagram because I simply love books and have been looking for more bookish people to talk to. Since joining my #TBR has gotten a little out of control. ?⠀

I’m a mom to a two year old and I live in Southern California with my partner, two dogs, bearded dragon, and one fish. We also harvest Monarch Butterflies to help regrow their population. I’ve been teaching fourth grade for five years, going on six.

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The Cool Moms

The Cool Moms

Enjoy. @sona.rukmani and @climatejusticeteachermom I was tagged by @readwithneleh and inspired by...

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A bit of a #lastread and #currentlyreading.

I finished Ink, Blood, Sister, Scribe and was utterly delighted. It was a perfect winter break read. It was fun and filled with lovable characters. I don’t read enough standalone fantasy but if that is something you’re looking for this one is absolutely charming.

I finally read Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward and completely understand why it’s a classic. It’s a rich text and deeply layered. It took me a minute to sink my teeth into but I’m so glad I stuck with it. It’s a look into the lives of an impoverished Black family and the horrors of Hurricane Katrina as told by Esch, who finds herself pregnant at 15 years old. There’s this feeling of dread as you read because you know what’s coming. Ultimately though this is a story about sibling love and loyalty. Skeetah absolutely pops off the page and he is one of my favorite fictional characters. Definitely one I can see myself thinking about years to come.

I opened What We Fed to the Manticore not really knowing what to expect. I like the idea that every story is told through the perspective of a different animal in the world as they witness habitat destruction and human greed. The first story is about a donkey and a zookeeper in Gaza. And yeah. I cried. This was written before the current genocide taking place so it cut deep. I’m interested to read the other stories when I’m ready.

Finally I started When Crack was King last night and I am hooked. I can tell it’s going to be a solid book. I absolutely love narrative nonfiction and the introduction is excellent. I heard he got his inspiration for the structure from the Warmth of Other Suns from his interview with Traci on @thestackspod and I immediately had to get to it!

#bookstagram #bookstagrammer #shortstories #narrativenonfiction #fiction #awardwinners #fantasy #weekendeads
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I am currently visiting family in Minnesota. When they asked what I wanted to do this was my only request. It is everything I wanted it to be and more. I could’ve spent hours browsing, the collection curation was on point, because of course it would be. For those who don’t know this bookstore is owned by Louise Erdrich and her family. She is one of my favorite authors. I walked away with signed copies of Louise Erdrich’s Plague of Doves and Love Medicine. I also bought a copy of The Marrow Thieves. What a lovely shop. Thanks for the vibes @birchbark_books !! #supportindiebookstores #independentbookstore #supportnativeartists #readmorebooks #alwaysreading ...

Looking for a creepy read for October? This one definitely had me unsettled as I read it. I don’t gravitate towards horror or even scary books often but for some reason I was compelled to read this one. It was weird and creepy. If you like stories about secret societies and cults then look no further. It’s a doorstopper clocking in at just over 600 pages but I found myself deeply engrossed. A combination of things I think worked really well here: 1) The setting of Argentina during and after the military dictatorship I thought gave this book a darker tone. The true horrors of living during this time were always just scratching below the surface waiting to break out. 2) The characters are all well written. There’s not much to root for here, but you have to know what happens to them! And 3) The horror elements were not overdone. Enriquez gave you little peeks at times to keep you guessing or described scenes with such brutal detachment it somehow made it worse.

I would like to read more horror in this vein. It had just the right amount for me, and gave me a new appreciation for the genre. #horrorbooks #scarybooks #octoberreads #spookyreads #creepyreads #ourshareofnight #weirdbooks #bookstagram #bookstagrammer
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#SundayShelfie

So many books. Too little time. The end of 2023 approached (which just blows my mind) what should I prioritize?

#bookstagram #booksbooksbooks #alwaysreading #reading #readmore #readmorebooks #nonfiction #fiction
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Phew. The rage in Elie Mystal’s Allow Me to Retort is so thick you can hammer it with a meat cleaver. But rightfully so. Look, my high school education was incredibly white washed. My US history teacher, his favorite president was ANDREW JACKSON. so yeaaaaaah. The only thing I remember about my US government class was learning about checks and balances which we all know is bullshit. There is no such thing.

Reading this helped me fill in a lot of gaps and I learned a ton about the Supreme Court. It is a bleak read. Mystal does not sugarcoat anything, he’s realistic. He knows and understands the fight ahead, and I appreciate how he lays it out. He really helped me make sense of things you see on the news every day. It’s one I find myself going back too if I need clarification about certain Amendments and what they REALLY mean. It helps that he’s also quite funny. I highly recommend this one for people who want to understand how we got here and where we go from here. If I taught high school I would definitely pull some of these essays. I would’ve actually paid attention in class if this was part of the reading.

#allowmetoretort #nonfiction #usgovernment #history #alwayslearning #alwaysreading #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #learnushistory #readmorenonfiction
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Yesterday was #talklikeapirateday and I totally missed the opportunity to post this gem. The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi by Shannon Chakraborty was a perfect summer read. Badass female pirate in her forties and a mother? SIGN ME UP. My only complaint (and it’s always THE complaint) is it went too long. Nevertheless if you’re looking for something fun and purely entertaining, then this book will be there for you.

But seriously, can we please get more fantasy with main characters like Amina?! I loved that she had this internal struggle of loving her daughter and being a mother but also loved being a pirate and going on adventures. That struggle is so real! (I mean I wish my job was that of a sea faring pirate but alas I’m just a classroom teacher) I loved seeing that internal struggle all working moms go through represented in a really creative way here. I will definitely be checking out book two.

#piratebooks #fantasybooks #fantasynovels #badassbooks #bookstagrammer #adventurebooks #funbooks #novels #booksbooksbooks #bookstagram
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Three books I read this summer that I loved:

The Rabbit Hutch by Tess Gunty snuck up on me. I don’t know what I was expecting but I ended up completely captivated with this novel. It’s beautifully written and slightly weird. Taking place in a crumbling midwestern town called Vacaville we follow several different characters whose lives intertwine in different and unexpected ways. The more distance I have from this book the more I like it and want to revisit.

The characters in What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez pop off the page. I loved all these women and I was rooting for them the whole time. Two sisters and their mom try to uncover what happened to their missing sister, as they move along the journey they discover more about themselves and their love for each other along the way. This slim novel packs a punch, and I highly recommend this one.

All My Rage is a YA novel that had me ugly crying when I finished it. Reading this was a cathartic experience and I loved it so much. It won the National Book Award for Young Peoples Literature and I can see why. I love that it’s YA too. File under books I wish I had when I was a kid.

I loved all three of these and I would recommend them to anyone.

#booksrecommendations #fictionbooks #booksbooksbooks #ilovereading #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #summerreading #therabbithutch #whathappenedtoruthyramirez #allmyragesabaatahir #greatbooks
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Recently made a National Book Award longlister (like the Oscars for book nerds for those who don’t know), Chain-Gang-All-Stars is sure to start making the rounds again, and deservedly so.

In Americas increasingly profitable private prison industry, convicted inmates are allowed to enroll in a program called CAPE, or Criminal Action Penal Entertainment. They fight like gladiators to earn one thing: their freedom. We follow Loretta Thurwar and Hamara Stacker, better known as Hurricane Staxxx who are the stars of the “show.”

I will admit I was a bit frustrated at first with this novel because I felt like it was almost overly detailed. It starts off with a lot of world building. There are chapters dedicated to side characters that range from very important to never mentioned again. To be frank, I think I was expecting something a bit more action packed. The fact that it wasn’t maybe led to my deflation but I’m ashamed to say that probably says more about me than it does about the novel. Was I expecting more violence and bloodshed in a novel about this country’s prison industrial complex so I was entertained? YIKES VIV. Once I recognized that and let go of those expectations I was able to find my footing. And once I was in, I was IN.

And really the ending had my jaw to the floor. I had to read it three times to make sure I understood it because I was simply so shocked. It is one I turn over in my head from time to time, it haunts me. It was like the end of season one game of thrones with Ned (IYKYK). But there will be no season 2! Sheesh. Guess I will always wonder what next? It’s a bold ending and it makes sense.

Have you read this one? What did you think?

#chaingangallstars #novels #fiction #booksbooksbooks #bookstagram #bestbooksof2023 #nationalbookaward #dystopianbooks
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Every time I peel back another layer of American history I will never fail to be utterly disgusted with the foundations of this supposed “great nation.”

I read this because I have always been meaning to since it came out and now with the movie right around the corner I figured it was time. David Grann does an excellent job of unraveling this particular part of American history. For those who do not know, the Osage Tribe was once the richest group per capita IN THE ENTIRE WORLD due to the vast oil fields found beneath their reservation. I’m sure you can guess which group of people were displeased with that fact. When members of the Osage tribe are murdered one by one the federal government must get involved to solve the grisly crimes. What they uncover is a conspiracy beyond comprehension.

This is an excellent book and deserves all the notice it has been getting. David Grann’s research is thorough and it’s clear he had the trust of the Osage to further investigate the crimes and tell part of their story to the wider audience. Still, I can see why people are concerned that the movie will suffer from a white savior narrative as the lead detective does take center stage. But at the end of the day as the title suggests, this is also about the birth of the FBI.

An important book worthy of your time, I hope some good will come out of it as the movie comes out and this part of history is brought into the light. The Osage deserve reparations and justice, but I doubt anyone is holding their breath. My only hope is that as more people become aware of this story perhaps the needle will move a little bit in the right direction.

#killersoftheflowermoon #booktomovieadaptation #nonfiction #truecrime #greatbooks #alwaysreading #bookstagram #bookstagrammer
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